Cream of Corn Soup With Red Pepper Sauce
Note: The soup and the red pepper sauce can be refrigerated, separately, for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat the soup before serving. Adapted from Nina Planck’s “The Real Food Cookbook.”
• 2 tbsp. unsalted butter or olive oil
• 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and sliced
• 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
• 3 ears fresh corn, husks and silks removed
• 1 c. whole milk (may substitute low- or nonfat), plus more as needed
• 2 tbsp. apple cider, optional
• 1/4 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
• Pinch ground cayenne pepper, plus more to taste
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the red bell pepper and stir to coat. Cover and cook until it is very soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, leaving as much butter in the pot as possible; transfer to a food processor. Purée until smooth.
Add the onion to the pot and stir to coat; cook over medium heat until very soft, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Cut the kernels from the corn cobs, then cut the cobs into 2-inch pieces. Add the corn to the pot and cook until it barely starts to soften and turns brighter, a few minutes. Add the milk, cider, if using, and cob pieces to the pot; adjust the heat so that the liquid is barely bubbling around the edges. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, until the corn is very soft.
Discard the cob pieces. Add the salt and cayenne pepper, if using. Taste, and add more of each if desired.
Working in batches, transfer the mixture to a blender; remove the center knob in the lid so steam can escape. Hold a towel over the opening; purée until smooth. If the soup is too thick, add milk as needed. (Alternatively, you can blend the soup in a food processor or with an immersion blender, but you may want to then push it through a fine-mesh strainer if the texture of the corn kernel skins is bothersome.)
Divide the soup among bowls. Top each portion with a dollop of the red pepper sauce.