With bacon and peppers, corn soup is far from ordinary

August 29, 1993|By Bev Bennett | Bev Bennett,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

There's probably a corn soup lurking in your past, since it's one of the staples of '50s cooking. It might be the thick-as-paste version served in the high school cafeteria, or maybe the anemic variety that resulted when you were eager to show the family your cooking talents but misread the directions on the label of canned corn soup.

Whatever the less-than-great experience, the following recipe for luscious, rich, flavorful cream of corn soup will improve your memories forever.

During the height of the fresh corn season, you can make a delicious soup for two from an ear of corn. It is sweet and delicate, and has little in common with canned soups. What's more, it only takes about 15 minutes to prepare. Make this for a quick weeknight dinner served with bread and a salad, or use it for a Saturday lunch following a visit to the farmers' market.

To round out the lunch, combine Belgian endive or lettuce, mint and tomatoes in a beautiful salad. Add some muffins, perhaps from the market, and a bowl of raspberries and blueberries for dessert. This is a meal you'll want to come back to.

Cream of corn soup with bacon and peppers

Makes 2 servings

4 strips bacon

1 medium ear corn

1 small sweet red or green pepper

1 medium jalapeno pepper

2 tablespoons flour

1 1/2 cups hot chicken broth

1/2 cup whipping cream or half and half

salt, freshly ground white pepper

1 tablespoon minced chives

Cut bacon into 1-inch pieces and brown in medium pan until crisp. Using slotted spoon, remove bacon pieces to paper towel. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons bacon fat.

Remove kernels from corn. Core, seed and dice sweet red pepper and jalapeno pepper. Add corn and peppers to bacon fat and cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour and cook until pasty, stirring constantly. Add chicken broth, stirring constantly. Stir in cream and bacon.

If soup isn't hot, cook over low heat 5 minutes. Do not boil. Just before serving, season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in chives. Serve hot.

Bev Bennett is food editor of the Chicago Sun-Times.

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