Monday, October 4, 2010

Soup Season! Corn & Carrot Bisque

Soupy Sunday is commencing. What's Soupy Sunday? Well, back in my college days, a few Art-Kid friends and I would take turns making soup for each other every Sunday. When it was your time to cook, you just cooked and people came over, bringing their own bowls, spoons, and drinks. No extra dishes for the cooks. This event was wildly popular amongst the Art-Kids. I miss it, so I declare an encore. For this week's Soupy Sunday, I made a corn and carrot bisque adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe.

This is a two pot soup, but I think it could be turned into a single pot dish. Just sauté the onions in a heavy bottomed pot until transparent, then toss all of the other ingredients in after. The veggies can steam/cook in the simmering broth and milk.

Red onions, I'm partial to them even though they sting my eyes and make my noes run.

At the end, you get to choose what kind of soup you'll eat. A bisque is a soup that has been pureed until velvety smooth. You can leave it chunky or partially chunky if you like. I suggest that if you don't have a good stand blender or immersion blender, don't attempt the bisque. The corn can be hard to puree, leaving a texture to be desired. As with any soup or stew, heat and time can help create a whirlwind of flavors.

Corn & Carrot Bisque

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 ears of fresh corn, kernels cut from cobs, cobs broken in half and reserved
  • 6 medium carrots, peeled, thinly sliced or diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed OR 1 tsp of garlic salt
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock/broth
  • 2 large fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Bring milk and corncob halves (not kernels) just to boil in heavy medium pot. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep while sautéing vegetables.

    Melt oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; sprinkle with salt and pepper; sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes (do not let onion brown). Add corn kernels, carrot, celery, and garlic; cook until vegetables are soft, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Add 2 cups broth/stock, herb sprigs, bay leaf, and milk with corncobs. Increase heat and bring to boil. Cover partially, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes to blend flavors.

    Discard corncobs, herb sprigs, and bay leaf. Cool soup slightly. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until very smooth.

    Yields about 5 servings. Can be made a day in advance.

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