as you know, i’m trying to post more savory recipes these days. not surprisingly, branching out to include savory dishes has brought with it a bunch of new challenges, the biggest of which (at least that i’ve found so far) is photography-related. i’ve found that photographing savory food has been much more difficult for me than photographing desserts. it’s mostly a temperature thing – a lot of desserts are meant to be eaten at room temperature or chilled, which means i don’t have to take pictures of them the second they come out of the oven, and they’ll look just as delicious whenever i get around to them. but with savory food, temperature tends to be important – you want to be able to see that steam rising, or gravy dripping, or sauce glistening. and in many cases, it’s hard to recreate those effects when the food is not fresh from the stovetop (or oven, or grill, or whatever). but i refuse to photograph food the second i make it, because that would prolong my eating of it, which would take the fun out of cooking. so… it’s a challenge, and i’m trying to learn how to deal with it.
anyway, this is all just a lead-in to me telling you that this was my first time photographing soup, and i think i have a lot to learn. it’s always exciting to try something new, though… especially since i make and eat soup on a pretty regular basis.
speaking of soup, this one is awesome! it is completely refreshing and summery, with a really lovely balance of flavors and textures. the corn (including homemade corn stock!) is just sweet enough, the basil is herbaciously fresh, and a pinch of cayenne adds just a touch of heat in the background. the corn and potato together make everything beautifully smooth and creamy, even though there is no butter or cream in the picture, and the barely-cooked corn kernels add an excellent crunch. if you are a soup lover like me, this is definitely one to add to your repertoire.
a light, fresh soup full of summery corn.
- 6 ears of sweet corn, shucked
- 6 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 russet potato, peeled and cut into cubes
- a pinch of black pepper
- a pinch of cayenne pepper
- a handful of fresh basil, chopped
- using a sharp knife, cut the kernels off the ears of corn. set the kernels aside.
- cut the now empty cobs in half and put them into a large pot with the water and salt. bring the pot to a boil over high heat, then cover it and reduce the heat to low. let it simmer for about 30 minutes. strain the stock into a bowl (you can throw out the cobs now) and set it aside.
- in the same pot you just used, heat the oil over medium-high heat. add the onion and cook, stirring often, until it is translucent. add the garlic and cook for another minute. add the potato, black pepper, and cayenne, and stir to combine everything. add the reserved stock and let it come to a boil. cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
- add all but 1 cup of the corn kernels to the soup and let it simmer, covered, for another 10 minutes.
- blend the soup until it is smooth using an immersion blender or by placing it, in batches, into a regular blender. taste it and add salt and pepper to adjust the seasoning.
- add the last cup of corn kernels along with the basil to the soup and let it sit on low heat for another 5 minutes.
- serve the soup garnished with more fresh basil, if desired.