Makes 6 servings. Difficulty
For the jalapeno cream: 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded & chopped fine 1 large garlic clove, minced & mashed into a paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup créme fraîche or sour cream
For the soup: 10 ears of corn, shucked 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 slices of bacon, finely diced 1 celery rib, diced 1/2 cup finely diced onion 1/2 cup finely diced yellow bell pepper 3 cups milk 1 cup cream Salt and freshly ground black pepper Pinch of hot red pepper flakes
To make the jalapeno cream: In a small bowl, mix together jalapeño pepper, garlic paste and créme fraîche or sour cream. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Force mixture through a fine sieve over a small bowl. (This can be done 1 day ahead of time. Let cream come to room temperature before serving.)
To make the soup: Using a box grater set over a shallow bowl, coarsely grate 6 ears of corn (you should end up with about 2 cups of grated corn). Cut the kernels from the remaining 4 ears and set aside in a separate bowl.
In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the bacon and cook until browned but not overly crisp. Add the celery, onion and yellow pepper; cover and cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the grated corn, milk and 1 cup of cream. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring often, until the soup is thickened, about 20 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste with salt, freshly ground black pepper and hot red pepper flakes. Keep warm over low heat.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and dollop jalapeno cream in the center (or place the jalapeno cream in a squeeze bottle and make a decorative design on top of the soup).