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Springtime Wishes, Summertime Soup

Published Jul 04, 2019 • Last Updated 11:05 am, July 02, 2019

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When I was little, I couldn’t wait to be older.

I tried to drive when I was about 11.

But, who could blame me? I remember my brother left his car, a late-’40s or early-’50s Ford in our one-car garage, and he asked our father to turn it on every once in a while.

I had no idea where he was going, but I knew he would be away for weeks.

The keys were on top of my father’s dresser. Years earlier, with me on his lap and with his hands on the wheel, he let me “drive” his car, a Chrysler, into the garage. So, I figured, hey, I would do this for my brother. I didn’t know that his car had a standard transmission. I didn’t know what a transmission was, actually.

Long story short, a phrase my dad liked to use, I drove the car through the front of the garage. The car was not hurt. I was not hurt. And I would like to say that this became a charming story in our family.

It did not.

But within a couple of years, Chrysler cars, and most other cars, became behemoths, all flares and wings. Our garage went from a boxy little thing into a boxy little thing with a three-foot shed.

I like to think I was just renovating it ahead of time.

I no longer wish to be older, but I wish I got ever younger every spring.

Well, that’s not going to happen, but as spring melts into summer I can sometimes count on the fact that farms in the middle of Connecticut get sweet corn much earlier than we do on the shoreline. I’m pretty sure there will be Connecticut sweet corn in supermarkets soon. I know it will be expensive, as it always is, but, when you consider that you can give your friends and family sweet corn for less than $7 or $8 a dozen, it is so worth it. And if you buy too much, consider saving a few ears for this delicious soup you can serve chilled or warm.

Lee White of Old Lyme has been a food editor and restaurant reviewer for more than 25 years. You can email her at leeawhite@aol.com.

Chilled Corn and Bacon Soup

Adapted from Good Housekeeping, “Short Cup Suppers,” August 2010, page 194

 

Yield: 4 main-dish servings

 

4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into one-half-inch pieces

1 large shallot, finely chopped

3 cups fresh corn kernels

1 large Yukon potato (8 ounces), peeled and shredded

⅛ teaspoon smoked paprika plus additional for garnish

⅔ cup water

4 cups low-fat (1 percent) milk

salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves

 

In a 12-inch skillet, cook bacon on medium 6 to 8 minutes or until crisp and browned. With slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. If making ahead, cover and refrigerate.

Drain and discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet. Add shallots and cook on medium 2 minutes or until golden and tender, stirring occasionally. Add 2 and one-half cups corn, shredded potato, and paprika. Cook 2 minutes, stirring, when add water and cook 7 minutes or until liquid evaporates and vegetables are tender.

Remove skillet from heat and transfer corn mixture to blender. Add milk and one-eighth teaspoon salt and puree until mixture is very smooth. Cover and refrigerate until soup is very cold, at least 3 hours and up to overnight.

To serve, divide among serving bowls. Top with bacon, cilantro, one-eighth teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and remaining corn. Garnish with paprika.

 

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