Corn Soup with Tarragon

After a long period of sunshine and warm weather, it rained all day last Sunday.   A grey day for hunkering down with a book and having soup for lunch.  I had picked up some corn on the cob at the farmer’s market, and decided to use that to make a soup.

One of my favorite recipes for corn soup is based on a USA Weekend newspaper clipping from November, 2000.  For this soup, the entire ears of corn are cooked in broth with chopped fresh tarragon.  Including the the whole corn cob gives a full corn flavor, then the corn kernels are cut off the cob and returned to the soup.  The flavor of fresh tarragon comes through well and is very nice.  This is a smooth soup—to achieve that you have to strain the soup through a sieve, which is the most laborious part of the recipe.  Other than that, this soup is quite simple to make.  The original recipe also includes chopped cilantro, which I omitted ( it is not Amanda’s favorite herb and she was home for soup), but add it if you like.

Corn Soup with Tarragon

4 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 ears of corn
4 sprigs cilantro, chopped (optional)
5 sprigs tarragon, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup half & half or whole milk
2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
1 lb. potatoes, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
Salt and pepper

In a stock pot, sauté the shallots and garlic over low heat for a couple of minutes.  Add the corn and the rest of the ingredients, and simmer for a half hour.  Make sure that the potatoes are fully cooked.  Remove the corn cobs from the soup, and cut the corn off the cob.  Return the corn kernels to the soup and discard the cobs.  Let the soup cool somewhat, then puree in batches in a blender.  Pour each blender batch through a sieve into a large pot.  Use a ladle or spoon to help push the soup through the sieve.

Reheat the soup, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve warm.

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