4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 heaping cup chopped shallots
6 cups (48 ounces) low sodium chicken stock (I like Swanson Organic)
6 ears fresh corn (white or yellow are both fine, but yellow makes for a prettier soup)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil, plus a few small sprigs for garnish
1½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
1. Remove husks and silks from corn. Set one ear of corn aside. Use a knife to scrape kernels off remaining 5 cobs, then break scraped cobs in half. Set aside.
2. Melt butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring often, until soft and translucent, about 8-10 minutes. Add chicken stock, corn kernels, broken cobs, whole ear of corn, salt and pepper to pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove whole ear of corn and set aside to cool. Cook for 10 minutes more. Remove broken cobs from pot and discard.
4. Off the heat, use a hand held immersion blender* to puree soup until very smooth. Be patient…it takes a while. Soup should have a creamy consistency without being gloppy. If it's too thick, thin it with water or chicken stock bit by bit; if it's too thin, cook over medium heat until thickened.
5. Use a knife to cut cooked kernels off cooled whole cob; add kernels to soup along with herbs. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper (if necessary, you can add a bit of sugar to bring out the corn's natural sweetness). Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with tiny sprigs of fresh basil if desired.
*If you don’t have a stick blender, let the soup cool slightly and purée in batches in a blender. Be sure to crack the lid or remove the center cap to allow steam to escape and cover with a dishtowel so it won't splatter. Rinse the pot and return the soup to pot.
Be sure to get fresh-picked corn and cook it as soon as possible. As soon as it's picked, corn starts converting sugar to starch which reduces sweetness. If you're not going to cook it right away, always store it in the refrigerator as it slows down the conversion process.