Sunday, January 24, 2016

Cream Corn Soup

I've never been an overly big soup lover. I enjoy a bowl now and then - especially when it is really cold out! I will occasionally order it in a restaurant but generally, I just buy a few cans of soup every year. I just don't like making big quantities of homemade soup - nor do I have the freezer space for it. Finding good soup recipes that I would enjoy AND that only make 3 or 4 servings isn't always easy.

Admittedly, I do "tweak" the canned versions a bit. I will sauté a bit of onion and bell pepper to add to chicken noodle soup - and of course add more chicken! I'll add some leftover cooked meat or additional veggies to vegetable soup.

The most creative I get though, is with a simple recipe my mom used to make! She simply poured a can of cream corn into a pot, then filled the cream corn can with milk and stirred that into the corn. Sprinkle a bit of black pepper on it then brought the whole thing to a boil over medium heat. She usually had a tray of various crackers, fresh biscuits or buns/breads to serve along side. Some people didn't really consider this a real soup but it was a favourite in our house!

I've made cream corn soup at least a couple of times every winter but over the years, I've made it a bit more elaborate. I started with just adding some chopped onion and red pepper then started throwing in some crispy bacon. Eventually I started sautéing the veggies in the bacon drippings and adding a few other ingredients. 
This only makes 4 servings, so not enough for me to get tired of before I eat it all. I've never tried freezing it though as creamed soups don't tend to freeze that well...

So, here it is my own version of Cream Corn Soup!

Cream Corn Soup
8 slices bacon
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 1/2 - 2 cups diced potatoes
1 cup kernel corn (thawed and well drained if using frozen)
1 398ml/14.8oz can cream corn
1/3 cup sour cream
2 cups milk
freshly ground black pepper
green onion for garnish
Cut the bacon into small pieces and place in large deep skillet. Cook over medium heat till extra crispy. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.

Drain all but about 1-2 Tablespoons of the bacon fat from the pan - but leave the brown drippings in! Add the onion, red pepper and potatoes to the pan and sauté till onions are translucent. Add the kernel corn and sauté another couple minutes.

Add about 1 or 2 Tablespoons of water and stir just to combine and lift some of the drippings from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the cream corn, milk, sour cream and then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium (or slightly lower) and simmer uncovered - stirring every few minutes to prevent burning on the bottom of the pan. Simmer about 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender

Crumble the cooked bacon and stir about 1/2 of it back into the soup. (Reserve the other half for garnish) Add freshly ground pepper to taste. NOTE: There is NO need to add salt to this recipe as there is more than enough salt in the bacon and some in the cream corn.

Divide into 4 soup bowls and garnish with remaining bacon and chopped green onion.
Serve with crackers, biscuits, buns, focaccia or other breads.

NOTEIF you are not serving it all at one time, the soup can be stored in a covered, air tight container and refrigerated for up to 4 days. To reheat you can either heat the soup in a small pot over medium heat or place each serving in a microwave safe soup bowl, partially cover and heat on medium power for about 3 to 3 1/2 minutes - then garnish with the bacon and green onion just before serving


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