Taste: Annotated Recipe: White Corn Soup
Relish the last of summer’s fresh veggies with the simple ingredients and light cooking that are a hallmark of chef Andrew Deery at Phoenixville’s Majolica.
1 small Spanish
1 c. unsalted butter
12 ears white corn,
cut from cob
8 c. whole milk
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
½ vanilla bean, split
12 leaves of Thai basil,
16 c. water
1 lemon, quartered
1 fresh bay leaf
2 Tbsp. kosher salt,
plus more to taste
1 1 ½-pound lobster
½ c. unsalted butter
White pepper to taste
Lemon juice to taste
TO MAKE SOUP
In a stainless steel pot, sweat onion in butter over medium heat for 5 minutes, until translucent. Add corn and continue to cook over medium heat, stirring often, until corn is thoroughly cooked but not browned, about 25 minutes. Add milk, salt, vanilla bean pod and scraped vanilla seeds. Reduce heat to low. After 5 minutes remove pot from heat and allow mixture to cool slightly. Remove vanilla bean pod. Puree the mixture until smooth. Pass puree through a chinois or fine sieve. Serve, or chill mixture over an ice bath, to cool quickly. Reheat before serving, adjust consistency with milk, and garnish with lobster and basil. Serves 12.
TO MAKE POACHED LOBSTER
In a large stockpot, bring water to a boil. Add lemon, bay leaf and salt. Add lobster, and immediately remove pot from heat. Allow lobster to steep for 5 minutes. Remove the lobster from water with tongs. Detach claws. Chill body and tail in ice bath to stop cooking. Return claws to the hot water. Steep claws for 3 more minutes, then remove and chill in ice bath. Once the lobster is cool, remove meat from tail, knuckles and claws. Cut meat into spoon-size medallions. Gently reheat chilled lobster meat in sauté pan with butter over a low flame until just warmed through, about 3 minutes. Season with salt, white pepper and lemon juice.
Thai basil has spicy undertones, but any small-leaved basil variety will do.
This recipe only calls for the lobster meat; reserve shells and cleaned body for another soup or stock.
Slice off the non-stalk end, then stand the corn vertically in a flat-bottomed container while slicing to catch the kernels. Chef Deery prefers a serrated knife.
Sweet Spanish onion is a nice complement to the even sweeter corn.
Quality counts. Chef Deery uses Cabot butter, or the unpasteurized version from Hendricks Farm in Telford (hendricksfarms-anddairy.com).
Watching your diet? Try reduced-fat milk and olive oil instead of butter.
Serve it restaurant-style: Place lobster in a bowl, tuck basil leaves into the meat, and pour the soup tableside.