I've been asked to share a recipe from our kitchen and so here I am writing myself into this blog. There are many recipes I can share and I've decided to take a relatively easy one but, having said that, the quality of the end result really boils down to your care you've put in the dish. We are talking about 'Sweet Corn and Basil Soup'. I took this recipe with me from my time in Sydney, Australia., where the dish is as common as fish and chips, the burger with canned beetroot and seagulls. The recipe is very uncomplicated with no frills but it should be remembered that it's an absolute must to seek out the best quality ingredients (this, of course, goes for all your cooking but especially with recipes like these):
1 ea Onion, sliced
2 cl Garlic, sliced
4 ea Corn cob, kernels sliced off, the cob cut in half
1 bunch Basil
2 ltr Vegetable or light chicken stock (you may have left over, keep this for another use)
We start with sweating the onions and garlic in 2 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp butter. Add the corn kernels and cobs. Cook over fairly high heat. You want to slowly caramelize the mixture, which means browning it, just a little bit. Take your time, you're developing flavour which for sure you'll taste in the end result.
When this is done we add the basil and continue cooking for a minute, or so. Pour in the stock, enough to cover plus a bit extra to allow to reduce. Bring this to a slow simmer.
And now, all you do is let it bubble for, say, about 30 minutes. After that, you take it of the heat and just let it stand there to cool down. Let time do its work, the flavours are infusing and developing even more. When it has cooled down enough you take out the corn cobs and discard. Then place the mixture in a blender and process until smooth. Strain the soup through a fine sieve. Press as much liquid through with a laddle, you're actually pressing through as much flavour as you can. I did say that the quality of this soup depends on the effort you put in, but don't press too hard, you might damage the sieve!
The only thing left to do is to season it with salt and, if you prefer, some white pepper, (the black variety will give your soup black specks all over).
And now you got yourself a very hearty and flavourfull soup. You can garnish this with a variety of ingredients. I personally like to use some sour items like pickled shallots and preserved lemon to 'lighten up' the liquid. Of course, add beautifully roasted prawns, scallops or even chicken and it will elevate this soup into the another level.
I will contribute some more recipes in the near future. Until then, enjoy!