This summer soup is pure essence of corn. Blanching the basil, an herb that tends to blacken once it's cut, keeps it jewel green.
Sunset JULY 2006
Boil corn in salted water, covered, 2 to 3 minutes. (For a smoky flavor, you can also roast or grill the ears instead of boiling them.) Slice kernels off the ears with a sharp paring knife. In two batches, purée kernels in a blender with 4 cups water. Strain purée into a bowl, pressing to squeeze out the corn liquid, and throw away the kernel mash. Add salt to taste and chill soup until cold, at least 3 hours. Meanwhile, boil tightly packed fresh basil leaves for 2 to 3 seconds. Drain immediately, plunge in ice water, and drain again. Purée basil in a blender with 1/2 teaspoon salt and the olive oil. Serve soup cold, drizzled with basil oil.
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