As the summer comes to a close, this soup is a perfect way to celebrate corn on the cob which is at its peak. At many of the farmers markets, you’ll find both white and yellow corn on the cob piled in nice big stacks. When shopping for corn, the husks should be bright green and wrapped tightly against the kernels. I sometimes take a tiny peek by peeling back the husk an inch or so, to make sure the kernels are indeed plump.
The corn kernels, once removed from the cob are sautéed in milk. For a dairy-free soup, I used unsweetened coconut milk, but you can use cows milk. Don’t skip this step as the milk takes on the flavor of the corn and creates a beautiful creamy texture. This corn chowder can be topped with a protein of your choice like crab meat or paired with a crisp green salad, for an easy weeknight meal.
Using a sharp knife, cut the corn kernels off the cob over a plate or bowl. Place the kernels in a large saucepan and add the milk. Simmer over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes or until the mixture has thickened. Set aside to cool, reserving some kernels for garnish.
In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, melt the butter and olive oil together over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for about a minute, being careful not to burn it. Add the potato and the broth to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium heat and then reduce the heat to low and simmer the soup for about 20 minutes. Stir in the corn kernels and let the soup cool. Using a food processor, a blender, or an immersion blender, puree the soup until it’s smooth and creamy. Add the soup back to the pot and season to taste. If the soup is too thick add some milk or water. Garnish with the cooked kernels and some chopped basil.