Made with little more than freshly picked sweet corn, onions and water, this velvety soup is divine — and calls for no cream or dairy. The lovely creaminess comes from a thorough whizzing in the blender. But for the silkiest texture, it’s best to pass the puréed soup through a fine-mesh sieve. It’s an extra step, but worth it: It moves a wonderful soup into the sublime. Finish it with a drizzle of olive oil and torn basil leaves.
Creamy Corn Soup With Basil
• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
• 2 large white or yellow onions, chopped (about 4 cups)
• Kosher salt and black pepper
• 6 large garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
• 4 cups corn kernels (from about 8 ears)
• 2 cups sliced squash blossoms (optional)
• Basil leaves, for serving
Put 3 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven set over medium-high heat.
When the oil starts to look wavy, add the onions and season well with salt and pepper.
Let onions cook, stirring, until they begin to soften, about 4-5 minutes, then turn heat to medium and continue cooking until onions are quite soft, about 15 minutes more.
Add the garlic and corn kernels, and stir to combine. Add 6 cups water and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Taste the resulting broth and adjust salt to taste. Cook for about another 10-15 minutes, until the kernels are tender. Stir in squash blossoms, if using, and turn off heat.
Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender. Pass the puréed soup through a fine-mesh strainer and into a large bowl, pushing down to press all the liquid out. Discard the fibrous debris left behind.
Check consistency and seasoning, and adjust as needed. (Add a bit more water if the soup seems too thick.) The soup can be made up to a few hours ahead up to this point, and tastes best the day it’s made. Reheat, if needed, before serving.
To serve, ladle into individual bowls. Drizzle about a teaspoon of olive oil over each serving. Quickly chop the basil, and sprinkle over to finish.
Total time: 45 minutes, serves 6.