Right now, our Jersey corn is at its peak: sweet and succulent. So when I stopped by the grocery store this week and saw a sale on corn, I knew I just had to stock up. Some of them were boiled and I roasted a few Taiwanese-style (more on that later) and the last few I saved for this creamy harissa-corn soup.
When you top the soup with the harissa paste, do use it with caution. A small dollop can pack quite a wallop! The flavors come together really nicely in this quick and easy soup. You can still taste the wonderful sweetness of the corn through the heat of the harissa. The créme fraîche adds a nice cool finish.
CREAMY HARISSA-CORN SOUP
8 ears of corn, kernels removed and cobs reserved
4 cups 2% milk
2 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic, whole and peeled
1 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Harissa paste, to taste
Créme fraîche or Greek yogurt
1 tbsp snipped flowering chives or chives
1. In a medium stockpot, add corn, milk, bay leaves, and garlic. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat and then lower to low. Simmer for 20-25 minutes to allow the flavors to come together.
3. In a blender, add toasted kernels, corn broth and sugar. Make sure to remove the bay leaf and garlic cloves from the broth. On high, purée the mixture for several minutes. Add salt and pepper slowly and adjust seasoning to taste. I like to leave it slightly chunky for a nice texture, but you can purée till smooth if you prefer.
4. Serve immediately in a soup bowl. Top with a dollop of créme fraîche, harissa paste and chives.