Chef Brendan Walsh first tasted this soup when he was cooking at an event with Stephan Pyles, the chef at Star Canyon in Dallas. Its smoky quality makes it a favorite.Plus: More Soup Recipes and Tips
Light a grill. Grill the corn, turning the ears frequently, until the kernels are well browned. Alternatively, pan-roast the corn in a cast-iron skillet over low heat. Cut the kernels off the cobs.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic, cover and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the vegetables soften, about 15 minutes. Add the bay leaf, crushed red pepper, coriander and cloves and cook for 2 minutes. Add the corn, water and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderately low, cover partially and simmer for 40 minutes.
Discard the bay leaf. Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Strain the soup into a large saucepan, pressing hard on the solids; thin with water if necessary. Reheat and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and serve.
The soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Look for an Oregon white wine blend in the Alsatian style or a Pinot Blanc, which is less floral, sturdier and terrific too.