1. Sweet Corn Soup with Basil Scallion Oil

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    This recipe from Paulding & Co. is perfect for transitioning from summer to early fall. Serve this hearty soup with ripe, late season tomatoes on warm Indian summer day. Or enjoy it with grilled cheese sandwiches on a crisp fall afternoon.


    Sweet Corn Soup with Basil Scallion Oil



    Yield: 4 servings

    3 ears very fresh sweet corn (yellow or white)

    1 tablespoon grape seed oil

    1 small onion, peeled and diced

    Salt and freshly ground pepper (note: white pepper is also good in this soup)

    Basil oil, for garnish (see below)

    Put 6 cups water in a pot.

    Husk the corn.

    Cut the kernels from each ear, but don’t go very deep; after the kernels are removed, scrape the remaining pulp from the ears with the back (dull side) of a knife.

    Set the corn aside, and put the cobs into the pot of water.

    Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and let cook at a gentle simmer for 10 minutes.

    Fish the cobs out and discard them, saving the liquid; strain to remove any bits of silk.


    Heat oil in a heavy saucepan and add onion. Cover and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice, until softened and translucent, but not browned.


    Add corn and broth, bring back to the boil, turn down the flame, and simmer 5 minutes. Purée in a blender, or for a slightly more textured soup, use a hand-held immersion blender, stopping when you like the texture.

    Reheat, taste and adjust seasoning with salt and black or white pepper. Top each portion with a few drops of basil oil, below.


    Quick Basil-Scallion Oil

    Yield: about 3/4 cup, enough to use in the soup and to garnish other dishes or as a salad oil


    1/2 cup firmly packed basil leaves, from one bunch basil

    2 scallions cut in one-inch pieces

    1 cup oil — use 1/2 extra-virgin and 1/2 grapeseed oil

    Generous pinch salt

    Combine ingredients, and process well in the blender. Pour into a small pan, bring to a simmer; simmer 45 seconds by the clock. Let drip through a “gold” coffee filter  ( I have used a strainer lined with cheese cloth also) without pushing on the contents. The resulting bright green, flavorful oil will hold in the refrigerator for a week. Bring to room temperature before using. It’s fun to put some in a squeeze bottle, and use it to decorate plates of food with dots, swooshes, etc.


    Paulding & Co. is a commercial kitchen and instructional/event space that was created by mother-daughter duo Terry and Tracy Paulding. They offer “innovative event ideas for families and corporate entities through public cooking classes and exercises.” Located in the heart of the San Francisco the company is said to have, “inspired Disney/Pixar animators for the Ratatouille film” as well as for director Clint Eastwood.