The yabbies can be prepared ahead and the soup assembled just
before serving. Take the soup out of the fridge about half an hour
beforehand to take the edge off the chill.
6corn cobs, kernels removed, cobs and kernels reserved separately500 ml (2 cups)pouring cream2thyme sprigs1garlic clove, crushed50 gmbutter, coarsely chopped1onion, finely chopped12live yabbies3 tbspsmall basil leaves, plus extra to serveFinelygrated rind and juice of 1 lemonTo serve:extra-virgin olive oil
To make a stock, place corn cobs in a saucepan with 2.5 litres of water, bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour. Strain and discard cobs. Makes about 2 litres.
Combine cream, thyme and garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat and reduce by half (20-30 minutes). Season to taste, remove thyme and set aside.
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, sauté until translucent (6-7 minutes), then add corn and cook until starting to soften (3-4 minutes). Add 750ml of corn stock, simmer until kernels are tender (10-12 minutes), then add cream mixture and purée in a blender until smooth. Season to taste, strain into a bowl, allow to cool, then refrigerate to chill (1 hour). Makes 1.5 litres.
Kill yabbies humanely (see cook’s notes p216). Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add yabbies and cook until just orange (1-2 minutes). Drain, then refresh in iced water and drain again. Working with a yabby at a time, hold and lift the middle flap on the tail and lightly twist from side to side to loosen. Carefully remove tail flap, pulling out the intestinal tract with it. Twist the tail and head in opposite directions to separate, then remove tail meat from shell and place on a tray lined with absorbent paper. Set aside. Repeat with remaining yabbies and refrigerate until required.
To serve, coarsely chop yabby meat and combine in a bowl with basil, lemon juice and rind, season to taste, then scatter over corn soup with extra basil leaves and drizzle with olive oil.