I almost hesitate to use the word "recipe" here. With just two ingredients (three if you feel fancy) you'll have a sweet, summery stock that is a wonderful addition to soups, risotto or other rice or grain dishes — or any recipe that calls for vegetable or chicken stock.
- 4 ears corn, shucked
- 1 large leek, greens only, washed well to remove grit, optional
- Water, to cover
- Using a knife, remove corn kernels from cob. Reserve kernels for another use, or follow the recipe for Fresh Corn Soup (in "Cooking Notes" below).
- Place corn cobs (and leek greens, if using) in a large stockpot. Add enough water to cover cobs by ½ to ¾ inch. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until stock has a good, sweet corn flavor, about 45 minutes to 1½ hours. The cooking time depends on your preference: 45 minutes will yield a delicate stock; 1½ hours, a rich, heady stock.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool several minutes. Carefully remove the cobs, squeezing down the sides with your hands or a spoon to extract the excess liquid. Compost or discard cobs.
- If saving stock for later use, refrigerate or freeze in tightly sealing containers until ready to use. Keeps about 1 week in the refrigerator.
- The recipe for corn cob stock easily doubles or triples. To make a big batch, save cobs from which you've cut the kernels and store in the freezer in a resealable plastic bag. When you're ready to make stock, adjust the amount of water as needed and cook until "corn-y."
- Corn cob stock really shines in Fresh Corn Soup, a super-simple soup with an intense, clean flavor. To make it: Sauté 1 sliced sweet onion and ½ minced garlic clove in olive oil until wilted and just barely golden. Add corn kernels and coarsely chopped tarragon or dill. Add Fresh Corn Cob Stock, bring to a boil and simmer on low 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cool a few minutes and puree with a traditional stand-up or immersion blender. Top soup with more fresh herbs, additional seasonings or perhaps a dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream.