Sunset Sweet Corn Soup

Just the fact that I am sitting here blogging on a Friday night should tell you how my week turned out. Tuesday I cooked dinner for friends, drank wine, and watched one heck of a lightning storm. Wednesday I worked late, and came home to make a mediocre dinner and put the kitchen back in order. Thursday was a night out with the husband's colleagues. Friday was exhausting. A week of gluttony, sloth and socializing, just as promised! Tonight as we watched a beautiful post-storm sunset over downtown Manhattan, I chopped up a slew of vegetables in those same purple, yellow and orange hues. We can't get enough summer corn! I also wanted to make something light and healthy as salvation for a week of letting go. I resolve to eat better from tonight on.
(3-4 servings)
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Garlic clove, minced
½ C Red Onion, diced
½ C Red Bell Pepper, diced
1 C Yellow Zucchini, diced
3/4C (1 small) Tomato, peeled and chopped
2 C Fresh Sweet Corn (about 2 large cobs)
2-3 tsp Sugar
1-1/2 to 1-2/3C Vegetable Stock
½ - ¾ C Lowfat Milk
1/3 C Fresh Cilantro, chopped

1.Cut corn off of cobs into a wide bowl with a paring knife, not getting too close to the cob (you don’t want any tough ends). Use the dull edge of the knife to scrape the cob downward, to get the starchy ends of the kernels into the bowl (this will help thicken the soup). 2 cobs should yield about 2 cups. Prep the rest of the veggies and heat olive oil in a stock pot or sauce pan.
2.Sauté the onion, garlic and pepper for about 5 minutes until they lose their opacity. Add the zucchini, corn and tomato and cover the pot. Let cook for about 5-10 minutes so zucchini is cooked through.
3.Add 1-1/2 C of the stock, about ½ tsp of salt and 10-15 grinds of fresh black pepper depending on taste. Add 2 tsp sugar. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat off. If too much liquid boiled away, add a little more stock.
4.Transfer in small batches to a blender and pulse-puree to a chunky but well-mixed consistency. Add the cilantro to the blender, reserving a little for garnish. Remember to slightly open the center top of the blender away from you and cover with a towel, holding loosely in place – the hot steam needs to escape safely. Return each batch to the pot and stir, then ladle another batch into the blender, and so on, so you are left with some chunkiness.
5.Add 1/2C milk to the pot, and heat over medium-low heat. Season to taste with more salt, pepper and sugar. (I added another ½ tsp salt, 15 more grinds of pepper and 1 tsp sugar). Add more milk if desired.
6.Serve with a garnish of cilantro and crushed red pepper flakes, and bread for dipping.

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