Eric Ziebold Tours the USDA Farmers Market

Pick and prod all you want. If you’re trying to find the best produce, you have to sink your teeth into it. That’s CityZen chef Eric Ziebold’s approach to the farmers market. On a recent Friday, he showed us around the US Department of Agriculture Farmers Market (12th St. and Independence Ave., SW, in the USDA parking lot; open 10 to noon), just a few blocks from his restaurant. Ziebold shops there nearly every Tuesday and Friday. Check out his tips on picking out corn, cantaloupes, and peaches in the video below, then try his easy recipe for corn soup.

Penn Farms White-Corn Soup

Serves 8

1 tablespoon butter
1 ounce shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups corn kernels (about 5 or 6 medium-sized cobs)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 quart corn milk (recipe below)

For the corn milk:

Remove the corn kernels from the cobs and reserve. Place the corncobs in a pot and cover with half milk, half cream, a pinch of salt, and a generous pinch of sugar. Begin to heat the liquid. Just before it boils, remove it from the heat, cover the pot with a lid, and allow the milk to steep for 45 minutes. Strain and cool.

For the soup:

In a pan set over low heat, sweat the shallot and garlic in butter. Add the corn kernels and season with the salt and sugar. Add the corn milk and bring the liquid to the gentlest of simmers. Allow to cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until the corn is tender. Drain the corn, reserving the liquid. Place the kernels in a blender and purée on high speed. When the corn is thoroughly puréed, begin to thin it out with the cooking liquid. Once all of the cooking liquid is added, strain the soup through a fine-mesh sieve.

More Farmers Market Tours:
Tallula's Barry Koslow Tours the Arlington Farmers Market
PS 7’s Peter Smith Tours the Penn Quarter FreshFarm Market
Blue Ridge's Barton Seaver Tours the Glover Park Farmers Market

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Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.