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Roasted Corn Chowder

This is distinctively good--roasting the corn gives the soup a special flavor and texture, definitely worth the trouble of picking out the silk and tying the husk back up. The soup is piquant and creamy with lots of bite--and very pretty too. Many thanks to Ken from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for the recipe. Ken is a software engineer who enjoys cooking for its therapeutic value. Claiming he is "instructionally and documentationally challenged," Ken cooks like an artist, tossing things into the pot till they're right. If this site wasn't dedicated to soup, I would tell you his activist positions on chili and barbeque. Serve hot to 4-6 people as a first course.

Garnish: parsley, minced fine

In a perfect world, you can start by firing up the coals on the grill. Then peel back the husk, strip out the silk, rub with oil (or butter--or drench with water), and twist the husk back up. Lay the corn on the grill and cook, turning every couple minutes, for 15-20 minutes. In an imperfect world, fire up the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit...and proceed as above except you don't have to turn the cobs. Let the corn cool, then cut off the cob into a bowl, scraping hard at the end to get every scrap of "milk" out. You should end up with out 4 cups of corn.

In a large soup pot, sauté the onion, garlic, and pepper in butter until the onion begins to soften (3-4 minutes). Add the corn and diced potato. Add the milk and bring to a simmer. Cook slowly until the potato is tender (15-20 minutes). Stir in the cream and season to taste.

When ready to serve, ladle into bowls and top with minced parsley.