Thursday, August 23, 2007

Roasted Corn Soup with Sauteed Scallops

It's that time of year. The corn is piling up! Here's a recipe from Alan's eCookbook, Menus for Easy Entertaining - Autumn.

Roasted Corn Soup with Sautéed Scallops
This is a rich, but simple soup. And because it is rich, a little goes a long way. The soup can be made a day ahead but the scallops are best prepared just before serving, while your guests are getting seated at the table.

3 ears Fresh Corn on the Cob
1 T Unsalted Butter
1 sm Onion, finely chopped
2 med Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
1 c Dry White Wine
2½ c 35% Whipping Cream
½ bunch Fresh Basil, leaves only
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 lg Sea Scallops
1 T Unsalted Butter

To roast the corn, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the silk tassel and all except one layer of the husk. When the oven is ready, rinse each cob well and place them on a baking sheet and into the oven for 45 minutes. Leave to cool. Cut the corn kernels from the cobs using a sharp, or serrated-edged, knife. Set aside.

Meanwhile, place the onion, garlic and butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened (but not coloured). This will take about 3-5 minutes.

Add the wine; increase the heat to high and let the wine reduce until almost gone.
Reduce the heat to low and add the corn. Cook this, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

Add the cream and increase the heat back to high. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the soup is slightly thickened.

Puree about three quarters of the soup in a blender with the basil leaves. Return this to the pan with the rest of the soup and add salt & pepper to taste.

The soup can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. To serve at dinner, reheat gently over medium heat (careful not to let it boil).

While the soup is reheating, heat a non-stick pan over med-high heat. When the pan is hot and just starting to smoke, add the butter and swirl it around. Gently place each scallop into the hot butter and sprinkle each with salt and pepper. Cook until the underside is just a little dark (you can see the colour of the scallop change along its side as it cooks).

Turn the scallops over, sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper and cook until almost done – still just a little soft when gently pressed in the centre with your finger. Careful not to overcook them – they will cook some more when placed in the hot soup.

Ladle soup into each bowl and place a scallop in the centre of each.

If you like, sprinkle a few tiny shreds of some more fresh basil leaves overtop (use scissors for this) and serve.

Serves 4

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