Fresh Corn Chowder
4 cups sweet corn kernels
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium shallot, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 medium sweet onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
8 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 medium potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped and boiled tender for 15 minutes in advance
½ cup half-and-half (or cream)
2 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp pesto, combined with 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Melt butter over medium heat in a large Dutch oven or soup pot. Add oil, chopped shallot, and onion, and cook until soft and transparent, 4-5 minutes.
Add chicken broth, corn cobs, and potato. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for for 5 minutes until potato is very tender. Add corn, return to a simmer, and cook for another 2 minutes.
Allow soup to cool slightly, then purée in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth. Place a fine sieve over a medium-size bowl and strain, pressing on solids with the back of a spoon. Discard solids.
Return soup to pot and add the half-and-half. Add salt and a generous grind of black pepper. Rewarm over medium heat. Serve in bowls garnished with fresh corn and drizzled with pesto oil.
Be sure to let the soup cool for 5-10 minutes before blending. Blending the mixture while very hot can actually force the lid off of the blender container due to the expansion of the steam, causing a huge mess. It also helps to start on low and progressively increase the blender speed. Blend in batches, filling the container about half full. Removing the center insert on the top of the blender (cover the opening with a folded kitchen towel) will also help prevent a mess.