summer corn soup with crisp prosciutto

Makes about 8 cups;
serves 8 as a First Course
3 very thin slices of prosciutto
3 or 4 large ears of fresh corn
4 tbs. unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion,
chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
kosher salt
2 cups homemade or lower-salt
chicken broth
11/2 cups medium-diced peeled
red potatoes (from 2 to
3 medium)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbs. coarsely chopped
fresh basil

Resist the temptation to
remove corn husks at the store.
The husks keep the corn fresh
and moist.
1. position a rack about 4 inches
below the broiler and heat the
broiler on high. Arrange the
prosciutto in a single layer on
a small baking sheet and broil until it begins to curl, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip
the prosciutto and broil until it appears dry-crisp and has curled a bit
more about 1 minute. Let cool, then finely chop or crumble by hand;
set aside.
2. slice the kernels off the corncobs for a total of 3 cups of corn. Reserve
the cobs.
3. In a medium Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter. Add
the onion and cook until softened and slightly golden, 5 to 7 minutes.
season with a generous pinch of salt.
4. Add 4 cups of water, the broth, potatoes, 11/2 cups of corn, the
cobs, and 2 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low
and simmer until the potatoes are tender 10 to 15 minutes. Remove
from the heat and discard the cobs.
5. Working in batches, carefully purée the soup in a blender, transferring
each batch to a large heatproof bowl or large liquid measuring cup.
6. pour the puréed soup back into the pot. Add the remaining 11/2 cups
corn and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to
medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the corn kernels
are tender, 3 to 5 minutes. season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish
each serving with the crisped prosciutto and basil.

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