A creamy twist on a cool night

Days are short, nights are long, and summer seems so distant as to be unreachable. As a momentary break from all the gray and cold, what could be more welcome than a sunny bowl of corn soup?

Days are short, nights are long, and summer seems so distant as to be unreachable. As a momentary break from all the gray and cold, what could be more welcome than a sunny bowl of corn soup?

This adaptation of a recipe from “Perfect Recipes For Having People Over” by Pam Anderson enhances the flavor of corn through caramelization. A generous dose of cumin provides a balance to the corn’s natural sweetness.

This recipe allows the cook to adjust seasonings and texture to personal preference. You can purée, then pour the soup through a sieve for a smooth, bisquelike result, or leave the soup studded with pieces of corn for a chowder-style soup.

To add a Tex-Mex flourish, add fresh cilantro and top with Fritos. Alternatively, garnish with chopped tomatoes — another reminder of summer-to-come.

CREAMY CORN SOUP

2 tablespoons oil
1 1/2 bags frozen corn, thawed and drained
1 small potato, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
Large pinch sugar
3 to 4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 teaspoons cumin
2 cans (14 oz.) chicken broth
1 cup whole milk, more for a thinner soup
Fresh cilantro or parsley, optional
A few drops hot sauce, optional

Heat oil in soup pot until hot and shimmering. Add corn and potato, then onion. Let cook for a minute or two before stirring. Then saute over medium-high heat, stirring often to keep vegetables from sticking or burning, for about 8 minutes. When corn starts to brown, reduce heat to low and add butter, sugar and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, another 6-8 minutes. Add cumin and hot sauce if using, stir for about 1 minute, then add broth. Raise heat to medium and simmer another 8 to 10 minutes. To puree, use stick blender in pot or transfer to blender, depending on how smooth you want your soup. For a completely smooth soup, puree in blender, then pour through a sieve. Pour soup back in pot if you used blender. Add cilantro if using. Add milk and season with salt to taste. Serve in bowls garnished with a dollop of sour cream with snipped chives, or chopped tomato, or more cilantro and corn chips.