Chilled Corn Soup with Grilled Shrimp

Inspired by our Seasonal Chef blogger on Small Bites, Maria Reina, as well as a spread in the August issue of Bon Appetit. 

Chilled Corn Soup with Grilled Shrimp

Make this chilled corn soup with grilled shrimp ahead for a summer dinner party in the garden. For vegetarians, omit the shrimp and drizzle with hot sauce.

Leftover corn cobs (optional)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper
1 sprig thyme
8 ears corn, kernels cut off and cobs reserved
18 small shrimp, shelled and deveined
Leaves of basil and thyme

For optional corn flavor, anytime a few days before making the soup, place leftover corn cobs in a pot with water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, then let cool. Remove the cobs and reserve the water for the soup.

In a stock pot over medium high heat, melt the olive oil and butter together, then saute the onion and garlic until translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the thyme.

Set aside 1 cup corn kernels, then place the rest into the stock pot. Add 8 cups water (corn-infused if you have it). Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and let simmer for 1/2 hour.

Meanwhile, season the shrimp with salt and pepper, then grill them over a medium-high flame, about 2 to 3 minutes (alternately, you can saute them). Set aside or refrigerate.

Saute the extra corn kernels in a little butter with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Let the soup cool a little, then puree it in batches or use an immersion blender. Strain it through a fine mesh sieve and press on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Refrigerate the soup for at least 3 hours.

To serve, ladle the soup in bowls. Scatter the corn kernels evenly among the bowls. Place 3 shrimp in each bowl and garnish with leaves of basil and thyme.

Serves 6.

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