• Remove husks from the ears of corn. Scrub with a stiff brush to remove silks; rinse. Use a sharp knife to cut the kernels off the cobs. With the dull side of a knife, scrape the cob to release the liquid ¿milk.¿ Set aside.

  • In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and bay leaf. Cook until onion is tender. Stir in corn and squash. Cook 3 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Add chicken broth, reconstituted buttermilk, 1/4 cup snipped basil, thyme, salt and cayenne. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Cool mixture slightly. Discard bay leaf.

  • Using a handheld immersion blender; blend soup mixture until nearly smooth; heat through. (Or let soup cool slightly. Transfer mixture, half at a time, to a blender or food processor. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Return soup to saucepan; heat through.)

  • For basil oil: Place the remaining 1 cup basil and olive oil in a blender or food processor. Cover and puree until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, if you like.

  • To serve, ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle basil oil over each serving. Garnish with roasted red peppers and a basil sprig.

Nutrition Facts

405 calories; 29 g total fat; 28 mg cholesterol; 759 mg sodium. 32 g carbohydrates; 9 g protein;