Califonia Bountiful
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Hawks sweet corn soup with roasted peppers and basil pistou

Hawks sweet corn soup with roasted peppers and basil pistou

Ingredients

Sweet corn soup
2 cups thinly sliced yellow onions
4 sprigs thyme, stems tied in cheesecloth
1/4 lb. unsalted butter
Salt and white pepper, to taste
4 cups white corn kernels
4 to 6 cups chicken stock

Roasted peppers
1 red pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. sherry vinegar
1 clove garlic, left whole but lightly smashed
1 sprig rosemary, left whole but bruised
Salt and white pepper, to taste

Basil pistou
24 fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
8 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt, to taste


When you think you may have had your fill of corn on the cob for the season, turn a few of those succulent ears into corn soup.

Directions

Soup
In a covered, stainless steel pot over medium-low heat, sweat onions and thyme bouquet in half of the butter until very tender, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Add corn. Cover and cook until corn is tender and begins to release its juices, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Once at a simmer, remove pot from heat. Remove thyme bouquet and puree soup in a blender with remaining butter until silky smooth. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Pass soup through a fine sieve for an extra smooth consistency.

Peppers
Turn a gas burner to medium heat and place pepper directly over fire. Allow pepper to char and turn until pepper is charred on all sides. Once pepper is completely charred, remove from heat and place in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap. Allow to rest for 20 minutes. Remove plastic wrap and use your fingers or a knife to gently remove charred skin from pepper. Do not rinse under running water as this will wash away the flavor along with the skin. Remove the top off pepper and cut pepper open to remove any seeds and pith. Cut pepper into a small dice. Place diced pepper in a small bowl and toss with olive oil, vinegar, garlic and rosemary. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Cover and allow to marinate, chilled, for at least 1 hour. Makes about 1/4 cup.

Pistou
Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Blanch basil leaves for 5 seconds, then transfer to an ice bath. Remove from ice bath, squeeze dry and mince. Place garlic and olive oil in a blender. Puree until smooth. Add basil and continue to puree until an emulsion has formed. Season to taste with salt. Transfer pistou to a bowl and place over ice. Stir pistou until chilled. Makes about 1/2 cup.

To serve: Garnish soup with a spoonful of roasted peppers and a drizzle of basil pistou.

Serves 8