- 4 cups fresh sweet corn kernels from about 5 ears of fresh corn, shucked and silks removed
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1 medium potato cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 sprigs fresh marjoram or 1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch cayenne
- 1/2 cup finely diced fresh tomatoes for garnish
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil for garnish
- With a sharp knife, cut the kernels off the fresh ears of corn into a large bowl. You don’t need to cut too close to the base of the kernels, as you want to leave a bit for the next step. You’ll need about 3-1/2 to 4 cups of kernels for this soup. Set corn kernels aside.
- After the kernels have been cut off, stand one cob on end in a shallow dish and use the back edge of the knife to scrape the cobs and extract as much “milk” and solids as you can. Set this corn milk mixture aside as well.
- Break the cobs in half and put them in a heavy, large pot. Add 6 cups water and 1 tsp. salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and discard the cobs. Pour the corn stock into a bowl and set aside.
- Set the same pot back on the stove-top over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. When it’s hot, add in the onion and cook, stirring, until translucent. Reduce the heat to medium and add the celery a pinch of salt and stir to combine. Cover the pot and cook until the vegetables start to soften, stirring occasionally to prevent them from browning, about 3-4 minutes. Add the potatoes, marjoram, black pepper and cayenne and stir. Add the corn stock and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover the pot and lower the heat to medium low. Simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Add most of the corn kernels, reserving about 1 cup. Simmer the soup for another 10 minutes.
- Puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender or in small batches in a blender (be careful to fill the blender no more than one-third full and hold a towel over the lid while you turn it on). Put the pureed soup back in the pot. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or pepper if necessary. Add the reserved corn kernels and corn “milk,” . Turn the heat off under the pot after adding corn/corn milk and let stand 5 minutes, so the hot soup cooks it slightly. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, garnished with chopped tomatoes and basil.