Last weekend I had the pleasure of collaborating with a friend and local pastry chef to put together an engagement party dinner for a dear mutual friend of ours. We immediately decided that the menu would be locally sourced and highlight the beautiful produce, meat and dairy that can be found in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Alongside of some locally raised pork tenderloin we served a salad of peaches and pickled onions with honey brittle and biscuits flecked with chives and Sequatchie Cove’s Rocky Battle Blue Cheese. Dessert spotlighted local blueberries and buttermilk in a milkshake and fresh herbs in sage shortbread cookies. But to begin with, we started with a chilled corn soup that I spent weeks fantasizing about, waiting for corn to come into season so that I could figure out how I would make it.
This soup is a perfect start to a meal or light summer lunch and is easily made a day ahead. I strain this soup, which you certainly don’t have to, though I think the smooth texture is definitely worth a little extra time and effort (and that’s coming from someone who prefers her home cooked meals to be on the rustic side). While this soup is intended to serve four, the recipe is easily doubled to accommodate more, or for heartier portions.
Cool Corn and Buttermilk Soup
Allow the corn to cool. Puree the corn and broth thoroughly in a blender or food processor (in batches, if need be) and stir in the buttermilk. You can chill and serve at this stage, but I prefer to push the soup through a sieve before chilling. Press the corn puree through the sieve with a back of the spoon until you are sure you cannot get any more liquid out of the corn mash, and take care to scrap the bottom of the sieve as well.
Chill for at least two hours before serving. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche if you like.