There are some dishes you come across that change your life.
Dramatic? Not for me.
Isn’t life ultimately about love? How to give it freely, how to open ourselves more fully every day to receive it? Isn’t it about using gifts and passions of ours to show the people in our lives that they matter? Isn’t it about consumption, creation, learning, and giving?
Well, this is at the heart of my love of cooking. I love cooking because I love people.
When I tasted the inspiration for this soup at what has quickly become my favorite new restaurant in Brooklyn, Parish Hall, I immediately knew that I wanted everyone I loved to experience it. It was sweet, thoughtful, and vibrant. It was so much more than the sum of its parts.
I went to work creating my version of this special soup, swapping walnut oil in for the authentic squash seed oil, and leaving texture in the base rather than pureeing and straining it completely smooth. I knew that the Parish Hall Chef had used a Vitamix Blender to get that velvety texture, but this should be something anyone could make at home.
I wanted this to be a beautiful, and considerate first course that felt simultaneously homey and elegant. I wanted this to show that every day is an opportunity to create something, taste something, share something, and maybe even change your life. Each time my meals are met with broad smiles and grateful hearts, that’s precisely what happens.
Chilled Sweet Corn Soup with Blackberries, Basil, and Walnut Oil
12 ears of corn, corn stripped from the cobs
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoons butter
¾ cup heavy cream
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
½ cup blackberries, halved
2 Tablespoons fresh basil, torn
walnut oil, for serving
You first need to make the stock: Place corncobs and 14 cups cold water in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 1⁄2 hours. Discard cobs, and reserve stock in separate bowl.
In the empty stockpot, sweat shallots with butter and ½ tsp salt over medium-low heat until translucent, 5-6 minutes.
Add corn kernels and sauté for 10 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Add corn stock, and bring up to a boil over high heat.
Reduce to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Lastly, add the cream and stir briefly to combine.
Working in batches, puree soup in blender to desired texture. Transfer to a shallow dish and refrigerate until cold.
To serve, ladle soup in serving bowls and garnish with blackberries, basil, and a drizzle of walnut oil.