For me, this soup has it all. I wanted something smoky, sweet, and creamy yet refreshing, with a bite of heat and salt. This is it! This is my new favorite soup. If it's not peach season where you live, this soup is still amazing without the peaches. It's a real crowd pleaser at my house. And it's half about the toppings!
Grilled Corn Soup with Peaches and Bacon
Serves 4 as a main course, serves 6 as an appetizer
For the soup:
4 ears of corn
6 slices of bacon, chopped
half of a large yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups of milk
2 cups of water
2 sprigs of rosemary
2 sprigs of thyme
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
pinch of cayenne
For the toppings:
3 fresh yellow peaches, peeled and diced
2 red chilies, thinly sliced
Extra sour cream for serving
Bacon, reserved from cooking
1 ear of raw corn, removed from the cob
1/4 cup chives, chopped
Fire up the grill! Then smoke the corn, husks in tact, for 15 minutes with the grill lid on. Remove the lid, peel back the husks, and grill the corn over a good flame on all sides until starting to turn brown or slightly blackened. Remove from the heat. Set the corn aside to cool. Then remove the corn from the cob with a sharp chef's knife, and set the corn aside. Do not discard the cobs.
Combine the milk, water, and cobs in a medium size pot. Bring to a gentle boil, then let simmer for 20 minutes.
In a heavy bottomed stock pot or dutch oven, pour in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the bacon over medium heat until brown. Remove the bacon from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside. Next, sauté the onion in the bacon fat and olive oil for 5 minutes until starting to soften. Add the carrots and celery, and sauté for 5 more minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds. Pour the milk and cob mixture into the larger pot with the vegetables. Add in the grilled corn, the fresh springs of rosemary and thyme, and the sugar. Stir to combine and let simmer for 20 minutes, until the vegetables have softened. Remove the sprigs and corn cobs and discard.
In batches, purée the soup in a blender until smooth. After puréeing, I like to leave the slightly gritty texture from the corn in the soup, but you may optionally strain the soup in a strainer to remove some of the corn grit if you prefer a smoother texture.
Pour the puréed soup back into the large pot or dutch oven. Add the 1/2 cup of sour cream, 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper, and the pinch of cayenne. Return to a simmer. Taste for seasonings and adjust to your liking.
Serve warm and top each serving with the peaches, chilies, chopped bacon, fresh corn, chives, and an extra dollop of sour cream. If you want a tad more heat, top with another pinch of cayenne.
Then get ready for your family or guests to kiss your feet!