Serita came back from Bali a couple of weeks ago and brought home fresh–and very fragrant–vanilla beans. I was able to get my hands on a few of them. I wouldn’t have thought about corn soup with vanilla if I didn’t have them, but once I did, I only imagined a soup that was velvety and smooth. I followed an existing vegetable soup recipe as my guide, but I added heavy cream to complement the milk that came from puréeing the corn kernels. To give it some extra body, I added mashed boiled potatoes. The corn was naturally sweet, so adding pancetta just rounded off the taste. It was the perfect balance of salty and sweet; a great appetizer for another Supper with Strangers.
5 fresh corns on the cob, husk and silk peeled off
1 vanilla bean, scraped
2 potatoes, peeled, boiled, mashed
half a pint of heavy cream
1 tbsp sugar
a chunk of pancetta, chopped, fried until toasted
1. Steam corn for about 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, slice off kernels into a sauce pot. Cook kernels with vanilla and mashed potatoes in low heat until combined. Mix in salt and sugar and stir well.
2. Transfer to a food processor and purée. Add a little heavy cream in batches until desired smooth consistency is reached. Feel free to add a little water if it’s too thick.
3. To serve, spoon corn soup in a bowl, sprinkle pancetta and grated nutmeg on top.