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Cold Velvet Corn Soup

Cold Velvet Corn Soup
T. Susan Chang for NPR /

This soup is so luxuriously satiny, you don't need any additional cream, half-and-half, buttermilk or anything else to smooth it out. The corn blends with the stock and gives it an astonishing sweetness, without added sugar.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

6 ears of fresh corn, husked (don't snap off the stalk — you'll need it as a handle)

2 leeks, white parts only

4 cups vegetable or light chicken stock

1 clove garlic

1 bay leaf

Salt and pepper to taste

Chopped scallions or chives for garnish (optional)

Rub the husked ears of corn with a towel to remove the last silk threads. Grasping the stalk end, hold the cob pointing straight down in a large mixing bowl and cut off the kernels with a sharp knife. Set the kernels aside. Break the cobs in half and place them in a stockpot.

Halve the white part of the leeks lengthwise. Rinse them, peeling back the layers to get at any sand trapped between them. Chop them coarsely and add them to the stockpot with all of the remaining ingredients except the corn kernels. Add a little salt to taste. Bring it to a boil and simmer for 25 minutes.

Remove cobs and bay leaf and discard. Taste the stock for seasoning. Then add corn kernels and simmer an additional 5 minutes. Using a blender set on high, puree the soup in batches and strain it through a fine strainer or sieve, discarding any fibrous solids. Chill at least 4 hours.

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