Monday, July 25, 2011

5 Star Makeover: Florida Sweet Corn Soup with Minted Mushy Peas & Caramelized Pancetta

This month's makeover theme was finding inspiration at the Farmer's Market.  Easy enough for me, as I spend many of my weekends at them.

Please support your local producers.  I am not gonna preach here because I have done it plenty in the past.  If you'd like to read any of my work on Blogcritics click on the following links.

This weekend Laz found some...

Florida Sweet Corn

Peas & Mint - which became minted mushy peas

Corn Stock
  • 8 ears Florida sweet corn
  • 1 yellow onion - peeled & slice thin on mandoline
  • 3 garlic cloves - peeled & sliced
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 tbs whole coriander seeds
  • 2 - 4 inch pieces of Parmigiano Reggiano rinds
  1. Using a sharp chef's knife, cut the kernels off the cobs.  Reserve kernels for the soup.
  2. In a stockpot, combine all ingredients.  Bring to the boil.  Reduce to simmer.  Simmer for 75 minutes.
  3. Strain through a fine mesh strainer.  You should have 4 cups stock.
Corn Soup
  • corn oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion - Peeled & sliced thin on mandoline
  • coarse sea salt
  • cane sugar
  • corn kernels - reserved from cobbs
  • 4 cups corn stock
  • 1 oz fresh dill - tied with butchers string
  • 1 tsp lemongrass puree
  • 3 tbs unsalted butter - ice cold straight from fridge
  1. In a stockpot, heat 4 tbs corn oil, over medium heat.  Add the onions.  Season the onions with a generous pinch of sea salt and cane sugar.  Cook the onions, stirring often to avoid BURNING, for 1 hour.  The goal is to create deep, rich, caramel flavor.  Keep with it.  Makes a huge difference in the final product.
  2. Add the corn, corn stock, dill, and lemongrass puree.  Simmer for 1 hour.  I like to allow the stock to reduce and concentrate.  
  3. Take off the heat.  Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth.
  4. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a clean pot.
  5. Put back on the heat.  Check for seasoning.
  6. Whisk in the ice cold butter, very quickly, and vigorously.
  7. Serve immediately.

Minted Mushy Peas
  • 3 cups peas - shelled
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 1 tbs pancetta fat - reserved from cooked pancetta 
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 tbs champagne vinegar
  • caramelized pancetta 
  1. In a stockpot, bring salted water and the mint leaves to the boil. 
  2. Add the peas.  Cover with lid.  Cook for 4 minutes.
  3. Using a spider strainer remove the peas and mint.  Transfer to the food processor.
  4. Add the vinegar and pancetta fat.  Pulse to a rough puree.  Add a bit of the cooking water if needed to adjust consistency.
  5. Season with sea salt and black pepper
Bring the dish to your guest like this...

Minted Mushy Peas & Caramelized Pancetta

Then pour the soup at the table...

Finish with a flourish...white truffle oil..."fake but who cares, it's all good."


That's it for now...till we exchange a few words again...Peace!


  1. Awesome, Laz! I love that picture of pouring the corn soup at the table. And really great flavors with the lemongrass puree and dill. 5 star foodie Jr. will be happy when I make it for her :)

  2. that looks delish- I love the presentation.

  3. what the hell do you mean fake?? me perdistes.. but damn, i loooove the minty mashup and the soup. you know i'm coming to M real soon. and i wanted to fed! and thanks for not preaching.... u can be mean or angry so that would not fly so well! ;)

  4. Um...YUMM!!! That is seriously clever, I love the fine-dining aspect of bringing it to the table and then pouring the soup. Beautiful. Love it, as always!

  5. I had forgotten how good your blogcritic's article was... and how right.

    I remember reading that one relationship issue often mentioned is one or the other in the couple isn't aware of how much the other person does. This is true of most of us when it comes to food. I think if more of us knew the incredible amount of blood sweat and tears that go into growing/raising our food we would be less likely to waste and more likely to 'buy right'.

    You remind us of this in such a thoughtful, subtle way and reward us with dishes like this. Many thanks... great soup.

    PS one of these days I am going to get organic Oregon white truffle oil to see if it is any better than 'fake'. Trouble is, fake tastes pretty good!

  6. Such a pretty and fun presentation. My British hubbie loves mushy peas. I must try this on him!

  7. The one thing I haven't done with corn this season is make soup - yours looks soooo amazing. The plating is just brilliant, with those luscious mushy peas in the middle. And you KNOW I am always always always gonna love truffle oil on anything, don't care if it's fake or not trendy or trendy or whatever. It's just .. yumm. Fabulous!!

  8. absolutely love that presentation. this would wow guests for sure!

  9. Tasty blend of ingredients and great presentation!

  10. Oh my, two of my favorite veggies paired with pancetta - heavenly summer soup! Gorgeous contrast of textures and color in your presentation :)

  11. I have been almost living off fresh, local corn for the past 2 weeks...I really can't get enough! This soup looks to die for. The minty peas are a beautiful addition too.

  12. wait, what!? lemongrass in corn soup!? that sounds fascinating. You know I've learned using truffle oil from your blog!

  13. i'm guessing it could be successfully done without the pancetta, right??? You know, for us vegetarians in the mix...

  14. This sounds so fresh and summery! And, truffle oil with corn sounds delicious. Great colors in the finished dish too.

  15. Love that drizzle Laz! An inspired soup, so creative.
    Thanks for hosting this Cooking Club, it continues to be an awesome event.
    My trip to the FM was a trip to Bountiful...

  16. Farm fresh sweet corn is one of my favorite veggies to get at the farmers' market. Everything about it is just so summery. This dish is constructed so nicely. The cripsy pancetta on top is such a fabulous finishing touch!

  17. Almost too gorgeous to eat Lazaro! Love it.

  18. Minted Mushy it! Truly beautiful soup Laz, such creativity :)
    Summer sunshine!

  19. when I look at the seems like a sweet and beautiful...Lazaro your presentation is fantastic! =)

  20. Ah, peas are out-of-season here already. But your minted mushy peas and corn soup look delicious and SO elegant.

  21. Devoted pea addict over here. Kermit would be proud.

  22. Two of my favorite sweet veggies in one place... corn and peas! I actually start my corn soup with homemade corn stock too, what a great way of sucking flavor out of the cobs!! This is a great utilization of farmers market finds!

  23. Laz, that's gorgeous. Love it, Im such a corn fan, but struggle to find things to do with them. Your an inspiration mate. The addition of the panchetta is fab, sweet and salty. Mmmmmmm.

  24. Stunning! Love the corn stock which surprised me in its evidence and simplicity. The entire dish is just wonderful and a perfect combination of the best flavors of summer: sweet corn, sweet peas and fresh mint. Beautiful!

  25. finally found the time to check out your blog (Barbara E. from facebook). it's a thumb up, of course. love the ingredients, the originality of the combinations, the pictures and... the FOOD! I will stay tuned.

  26. Great colors in that bowl. The mix of corn and peas is a nice one because they are both so sweet.

  27. A delicious, crazy, fusion of flavors. I'm totally impressed and inspired, for I would love to experiment with adding mint to my corn dishes.

  28. I am so happy to have discovered your site. You are brilliant! Love the presentation. Had sweetcorn chowder in a posh restau recently and they poured it at the table which I loved. Much prefer your frillies with the carmelised pancetta. Absolutely fabulous! (oh, and love the truffle stuff...)

  29. Laz definitely found some beauties at the farmer's market. Hand it to you to take two simple ingredients such as corn and peas and somehow combine them in your magical culinary ways to create another amazing dish. This sounds and looks delicious!

  30. This is fabulous and such a gourmet take on eating your "peas and corn." This was my favorite pick of the lot this month.

  31. Loving the lemongrass in this gorgeous bowl of soup! Impressive as always--

  32. Really love this recipe and it is so fun and stunning. The seasoning is so curious but totally works, just would not thought of it.

  33. That soup looks and sounds glorious Laz - it makes me wish I could get really good, fresh corn here but, alas, it's a rarity. Peas and mint, on the other hand, are not a problem - might just have to whip up some soup with them instead.

  34. What a great blend and thant mint/pea mash...delicioso!


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