A corn soup that tastes like summer
This corn soup recipe has rather unique origins. I’m lactose intolerant, so most creamy soups are delights I’ll never experience. But when I was sent samples of Green Valley Organics’ lactose free kefir, I saw a host of possible tangy, kefir-based soups in my future. My favorite of my experiments was this corn soup, a recipe I’m sure to make at least once every summer since I first discovered the velvety combination of tart kefir and sweet summer corn.
What is kefir?
If you don’t eat a lot of Eastern European foods, you might not be familiar with this off the beaten track dairy product. First of all, it’s a fermented drink and anyone on the kombucha bandwagon should get on board with kefir since it offers many of the same probiotic benefits. Although my recipe–and most you’ll encounter–uses milk kefir, a non-dairy type of kefir called water kefir, may appeal more to the kombucha lovers.
Milk kefir is made by putting something called kefir grains into milk. (They aren’t actually grains at all but just the right combination of yeast and bacteria to cause the drink to ferment.) Once fermented, kefir has a thick, pourable consistency similar to buttermilk, which was why I immediately thought, “soup!” Tasted plain, it will remind you of an unflavored smoothie.
A different kind of corn soup
After I started experimenting with soup recipes, I learned that the probiotic benefits of kefir are ruined if you boil it. This soup recipe, although a riff on a classic corn and bacon soup, is really nothing like the corn soups of winter. Healthy and light, it is served warm, or chilled in the refrigerator, as you would gazpacho.
One of the most popular recipes in my cookbook, Romancing the Stove this soup offers the “pop” of fresh kernels between your teeth combine with an energizing tang from the kefir and the earthy pull of coriander and cumin. I made the recipe for two because I believe it’s one that should be enjoyed with someone special, just the two of you–no distractions. It is a unique soup, one that truly showcases the sweetness and delicacy of corn just cut from the cob.
- 2 tsp canola oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 cup chicken stock, (can substitute with vegetable stock)
- 2 ears corn plus cobs
- 1/8 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp coriander
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup kefir
- 1 tsp fresh chives optional, finely chopped
- Cut corn from cob and reserve both corn and cobs.
- Heat oil in a stock pot over medium-high heat. Saute onion for 2 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to simmer and add corn, cobs, cumin, coriander and salt. Simmer for 15 minutes.
- Turn off heat. Remove 2 tbsp of corn from the pot and set aside. Remove cobs and pour the remaining soup into the blender. Blend until smooth.
- Stir in kefir, reserved corn kernels and chives. Season with additional salt to taste.
- Serve immediately or chill at least 2 hours for a cold soup.
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