Sweet Corn Soup with Blue Crab and Avocado Relish
Reproduced with permission from Golden Door Cooks at Home:
Favorite Recipes from the Celebrated Spa by Chef Dean Rucker
(Published by Clarkson Potter, April 2009)
Sweet corn, sweet crab, and rich avocado are a match made in heaven; for the creamiest, sweetest results use summer corn in season. I like to serve this soup chilled on a hot summer day, but it is also excellent served hot.
For the corn soup:6 ears corn
2 teaspoons grapeseed oil
½ medium onion, coarsely chopped (½ cup)
1 small carrot, coarsely chopped (½ cup)
½ celery rib, coarsely chopped (½ cup)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, or to taste
For the crab and avocado relish:8 ounces lump or backfin blue crab meat, picked over to remove any bits of shell or cartilage
1 medium avocado, diced
1 ripe, plum tomato, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
½ cup fresh basil leaves
PreparationUse a sharp, thin knife to cut the corn kernels from the ears. You should have 5 cups of kernels; set them aside. Place the ears in a large soup pot and cover with 8 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Strain and discard the ears. Set the corn stock aside.
In a large saucepan, heat the grapeseed oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and bay leaf and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent but not browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the corn and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Stir in 5 cups of the corn stock along with the salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, discard the bay leaf, and let the soup cool.
Transfer the soup to blender, in batches if necessary. Blend on a low speed until creamy. Strain through a medium-mesh sieve set over a bowl and use the back of ladle to push the soup through. You should have about 6 cups of soup. Add a bit more corn stock or water if the soup is too thick. Refrigerate until chilled, 1 to 3 hours. Season to taste with pepper.
When ready to serve, prepare the crab and avocado relish. Put the crab in a medium bowl and use a fork to break up the meat slightly. Add the avocado, tomato, lemon juice, and Old Bay seasoning. Tear the basil leaves and add them. Stir gently to combine.
Divide the soup among six chilled bowls and place a generous dollop of crab and avocado relish in the center of each bowl. Serve.