The Ad-Libbers Guide to Soup

Using leftover corn on the cob. Yeah, I know – it’s hard to imagine there would be any leftovers of everyone’s summertime favorite, but on the last barbecue of the season, we had so much food that, yep, there was some corn left. The next day, I wanted to give folks something simple for their tummy, so I made a batch of Neelys’ Potato-Cheese Soup. (For those of you who have a copy of my Soup Night cookbook, it’s on page 120. If you don’t have the book, I’ll be happy to send you the recipe.) Then I saw three ears of already-grilled corn in the refrigerator. So I stripped off the kernels and added them to the soup. It was different, but nice. And made me feel very virtuous – my grandmother taught me to never waste food. Never.

By the way, if you’ve never removed corn kernels from the cob, here’s how.

Stand the ear upright in a wide shallow bowl and slice downward with a sharp paring knife. If you want whole kernels, just work your way around the ear, one downward slice at a time; let the kernels fall into the bowl. If you want cream-style, first run the knife tip down through the center of the kernels (work one row at a time) while they are still on the cob. Then go around and slice them off. My mother used to do one more step: scrape the now-denuded cob with the knife held flat, to capture any remaining “juice.”

TO ALL YOU GOOD COOKS: Have you discovered any surprise add-ons to your soup pot? Please send me a note, and let me know whether I have your permission to share them in a future newsletter.

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