Monday, July 23, 2012

Summer Soup

Growing up, I remember my summers being consumed by two things 1) swimming and 2) shucking corn.  I swear, we ate corn on the cob EVERY SINGLE NIGHT and it was always "my job" to the shucking.  My mom would give me a paper grocery bag and send me outside with a huge bag full of sweet corn.  So I'm pretty much an expert shucker at this point.  Thanks Mom?

So when I heard it was "Corn Day" today at my local farmer's market I was pretty excited.  I collected up what cash I had left from the weekend and headed out with hopes of making my favorite summer soup later on that day. 

"My Father's Daughter" is currently my favorite go-to cookbook.  It's full of delicious, healthy recipes using minimal ingredients.  Right up my alley.  And if the food is good enough for Chris Martin...then I'm pretty sure it's good enough for me! 

I've made a bunch of her recipes but one of my favorite's is the Corn Chowder.  And using fresh sweet corn just makes it that much better.  If you're looking for another way to enjoy this summer's corn, then I would definitely recommend trying this out. 

Ingredients include:
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 slices of turkey bacon, diced
  • 2 medium shallots, finely diced
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kernels from 6 fresh ears of corn, cobs reserved
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup milk

Melt the butter in a large soup pot and then add in the bacon to crisp.  Takes about 4 minutes.

Add in the shallots, onion, thyme, and bay leaf and cook for 5 minutes.

Remove the kernels from the cob making sure to capture all the good corn juices.  I learned a tip from Rachael Ray to use two bowls, with a smaller one inverted in a bigger one so it acts like a stand.  That way you get the juices and corn isn't flying all over your kitchen.  

Mix in the corn, salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute stirring everything together.  

Then add in the stock, milk and reserved corn cobs.  My soup pot is obviously not big enough, oh well!  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until corn is cooked through.

Remove the cobs and then puree some of the soup so you have a mix of textures.  If you don't have an immersion blender, you can take a cup or so out, blend it in a food processor and then return it to the pot.  

Season to taste and enjoy warm or cold - it's great either way! 

I like to top with sour cream and green onions (or chives) and serve with a side of bread or tortilla chips (or both!). I'm sure Gywneth would be absolutely disgusted to eat store bought chips, however, if you're going to have it as a meal you need something extra to dip or crumble on top.

Seen here:
My favorite soup pot (on sale at Macy's now)
Immersion blender (also on sale!)
My Father's Daughter Cookbook
Butcher block cutting board 


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