If I hadn’t made it myself, I never would have believed that a soup steeped in this much sweet creamery goodness and alive with the summer’s freshest bounty, started with yesterday’s corn on the cob and ended in a blender. Almost a crime..but, ten minutes, a power blade, and ready-to-use steamed vegetables, made me a kitchen hero and it can make you one too.
I had Vita-mix envy. The blender that’s so full of awesomeness and machismo power that it gets me gender-confused. Charlie Trotter even calls it one of the top ten kitchen tools he can’t live without. My current blender, no waterboy by any means, gets the job done that is if by jobwe mean smoothies and other kinds of smoothies. “The chefs all have Vita-mix products I whined to myself.” “They also have jobs where people pay them to cook. You are paid in not-having-to-work dollars,” I argued. “True, but it’s so shiny.”
And then, right at the entry to my smallish neighborhood Whole Foods store, sales performers hawked from a platform, nearly blocking the entrance to the store, speaking into headsets amplifying their schpiel to somewhere beyond the three person crowd standing two feet in front of them. They sliced up produce and tossed it, like circus jugglers, into the pitcher. The sign read Last Day to Purchase Vitamix.
“Ever seen a Vitamix in action!” the man with a headset, tanned to the color of a grocery bag, shouted. He plopped a quartered orange, peel and all, into the blender. I challenged him on the price and he countered with “but if you act today…”
“We’ll throw in a..”
A 5-in-1 egg slicer?
“This book on low-calorie drinks and this other, thicker book about the virtues of real foods we call nature’s pharmacy and these five cutting mats and this scooping spatula and this knife that will cut through anything and a box of produce from Whole Foods to get you started.”
With that, Jim Jones handed me a green drink that I willfully threw back, and that Vitamix was in my cart before I could say “sham-wow.”
Now, you might think it’s a bit indulgent to go hog wild on a fancy blender. My husband remarked “I thought we had a blender.” Rather than slap him I kindly pointed out that he has many golf clubs. Besides, some girls like designer labels, otherslike pricy beauty surgery treatments, and others like big, shiny jewels. I like appliances. They’re shiny too and they do stuff.
Like make corn soup in an instant. Using leftover corn on the cob and about a cup of the leftover corn steaming broth, a dash of cream, sauteed onions, salt and pepper. Vrooom. Instant homemade soup and not just “look I blended up some foods and they look like soup” – no, this was rock star quality. It could be more about ingredients than tools, but the simplicity of relying on one machine to transform real foods into different courses is plain liberating. Let’s face it, Charlie Trotter could have delivered his own corn soup to me for the price of the Vita-mix, but ever since the machine came into our home, the kids have been making their own inventive smoothies including those with kale and that’s just priceless. We’ve all heard about the benefits of green drinks as being an easy way to get vegetables into the diet. I’m thinking that the power blender might just replace the toaster as an on the counter or dare I say, built in appliance. Plus, it’s so shiny.
summer corn soup, fallen basil leaves, fallen willpower
preptime 1 minute 2 servings
cooktime 5 minutes
blemdtime 1 minutes
2 large ears of corn on the cob (leftover)
1 cup corn steaming water (saved from day before)*
1/3 c chopped onion
1 T butter
1/8 c heavy cream
1/4 c chopped basil
- Melt butter in medium pan. Add chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes until soft.
- Cut off corn from cobs and add into the sauteed onion. Cook until heated through.
- Add steaming water and naked cobs to sauteed vegetables and heat.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove naked cobs from mixture and then pour the remaining soup ingredients into the blender. On low speed begin to blend, gradually increasing blending speed to the consistency you like.
- Heat if soup has cooled, then stir in cream and basil, serve.
- Plan ahead. When you steam vegetables, make twice as much and save the water for making soup.
- Make the soup when you serve vegetables the first time.
- The overall recipe can’t get much faster, but you could eliminate the onions.