Sweet Corn Soup with Basil Chili Oil

Makes about 8 servings as a starter course

4 cups corn, cut from the cob (if you do not have fresh corn you can use canned)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 cup red or yellow onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups (1 large box) chicken broth

Basil Chili Oil 

2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
pinch of salt


Soup:
In a large pot, heat oil over medium high heat and add onions and salt.  Saute until onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook for about 3 minute or until soft, but not burnt.

Add corn to onions and allow to cook for about 5 minutes.  

Add chicken broth to corn mixture and allow to simmer for about 15-20 minutes.  

Using an immersion blender puree until the soup is smooth and creamy.  If you are using a regular blender puree in batches filling the blender only 1/2 way so that the hot soup does not explode all over the kitchen. You need space in the blender for the heat to escape (I typically put the lid on half way and use a towel to cover the lid so the heat and escape and the towel catches all the splatter).

Basil Chili Oil:
Bring a small pot of water to a boil.  Blanch the basil leaves for 30 seconds.  Remove leaves and place in a bowl with water and ice.  Allow the basil to cool completely and then remove from water and dry on paper towels.  

In a blender or mini prep, blend the bail leaves, oil, salt and chili flakes until smooth.  You will still have small pieces of basil, but thats ok.  

Pour oil into a squirt bottle to make drizzling easier.  If you don't have one just use a spoon to drizzle.  

Notes:
You must blanch the basil before you blend its  If you skip this step the boil will be grey and very unappetizing.