12 ears of fresh sweet corn
3 or 4 poblano peppers
1 cup heavy cream or milk
4 cups corn cob stock
2 onions, one for stock, one for the soup
2 or 3 cloves of garlic
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Crispy strips of corn tortilla*
Jalapeño pepper, minced
*To make the tortilla garnish cut a stack of corn tortillas into ¼ inch wide strips and let them stale for a day or two. Toss in hot oil to flavor and crisp them (I do this step in my wok). Drain on paper towels.
Slice the kernels off the cobs of corn and reserve.
Rub the cobs with olive oil or butter and roast in the oven until golden brown.
Cover the cobs with cold water, add a few branches of thyme and an onion, peeled and cut in half, bring to a simmer and cook for an hour or two. I like to use the pressure cooker for this step, it deepens the corn flavor and takes less time (stock is ready in an hour).
Strain and reserve the corn stock. It freezes well and can be used in any vegetable soup or risotto.
For the Soup
On top of the gas burner, roast and peel the poblano peppers. I use 3 or 4 peppers to a dozen ears of corn. Scrape out and discard the seeds and dice the peppers.
Mince an onion and a couple of cloves of garlic and sauté until soft. (I use 1 large Vidalia onion and 3 large cloves of garlic to a dozen ears of corn) Add the diced poblanos and cook over a low flame for ten minutes or so. Stir in the corn kernels, reserving a tablespoon or so for each bowl of soup you are preparing.
Add the stock and some heavy cream or milk. The amount of dairy is up to you, but I usually use a ratio of 1:4, 1 cup heavy cream or milk to 4 cups corn stock. Skim milk or coconut milk for vegans will work but I like the silkiness of heavy cream, especially in the cooler weather.
With a slotted spoon, scoop out the onion, corn and peppers and thoroughly purée the vegetables in a blender until very smooth. Slowly add the liquid back into the purée to create a velvety texture. Adjust the thickness of the soup to your liking with more cream or more stock. It will hold like this in the refrigerator for 3 days.
At point of service, briefly sauté the reserved corn kernels, putting a tablespoon or so in the bottom of each soup bowl, pour the hot soup on top and garnish with cilantro, crispy corn tortilla strips and/or diced jalapeño.