The soup can be served chilled, warm, or at room temperature. Chef Dan Barber likes it as a small taste before dinner.
• 10 ears fresh sweet corn
• 1 recipe Corn Stock (recipe follows) or 4 quarts vegetable stock
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 1 large carrot, chopped
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 pieces star anise
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 6 sprigs thyme, tied together with 100% cotton kitchen string
• 10 corn cobs (reserved from 10 ears corn, above)
• 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
• 1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped
• 1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
• 1 medium bulb fennel, cored and coarsely chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, smashed
• 1 bay leaf
• 6 sprigs of thyme
Remove husks from ears of corn. Scrub with stiff brush to remove silks; rinse. Cut corn kernels from cob; set aside. (Reserve cobs for Corn Stock.)
In large stock pot, combine all Corn Stock ingredients. Add 5 quarts water. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 1 1/2 hours. Strain through fine mesh sieve. Discard solids. Set Corn Stock aside.*
In 8-quart Dutch oven, cook onion and carrot in hot oil 10 minutes, or until starting to brown. Add garlic; cook 1 minute more. Increase heat to medium-high. Stir in reserved corn kernels and star anise. Cook and stir 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add Corn Stock and bundle of thyme, bring to simmer. Reduce heat, simmer, uncovered, about 20 minutes.
Remove from heat. Remove and discard star anise and thyme. Cool slightly. In food processor or blender, puree soup in small batches until smooth. Strain through fine mesh sieve, discarding solids. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 16 servings.
*Tip: Corn Stock may be covered and chilled for up to 1 week or frozen up to 1 month.
Tip: Place leftover soup in airtight container. Cover; chill in refrigerator up to 3 days or freeze up to 3 months.