Harvest Creamy Corn Soup

by Casey Bradshaw

cornI’m a soup person.  I love soup.  It’s so comforting, so filling, and just so perfect on a winter night.  When the cold, dry air starts rolling in, there is nothing more that I desire to cook in my kitchen or put in my mouth than a steaming bowl of soup and a big piece of crunchy bread to soak up the deliciousness.  A few years ago, I came across this wonderful, wintery recipe, and I always anticipate it’s first arrival on our table each winter.  This soup is so simple and so scrumptious, containing the perfect blend of vegetables, fresh herbs, and–my personal favorite–bacon!

Harvest Creamy Corn Soup

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
4 to 5 large ears corn, scraped from cob or 1 box frozen corn (I use frozen…so much easier)
1 medium or 2 small zucchini, chopped
1 pound small potatoes, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 bay leaf
5 to 6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, a couple of generous handfuls
A few dashes hot sauce, to taste (if desired)

Directions:

Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat with extra-virgin olive oil.  Add the bacon to the hot oil and cook until crisp at the edges.  Add onions, sauteing until translucent, then incorporate the corn, zucchini, potatoes, and bell pepper as you get them chopped.  Also, add to the soup pot the bay leaf, thyme sprigs, paprika, salt and pepper, to taste.  Cook vegetables for approximately 7 to 8 minutes until they begin to soften.  Sprinkle the flour into the pot; stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Stir in the chicken stock, and let it come to a bubble and thicken up a bit.  Finally, stir in the cream, parsley, and hot sauce, to taste, and simmer for 5 minutes.  Season the soup with salt and pepper (if needed) and serve with a large slice of hot, French bread and butter.

I love the parsley in this soup that is added at the end! It just makes it so fresh. Please don’t leave that part out. Also, because this recipe makes a ton, you will have plenty of leftovers and it’s even better the second day!

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