Corn soup–the bayou Cajun kind, thick with fresh tomatoes, shrimp, and green pepper– tastes like summer. It is at its peak in late May, when the harvest of local corn & tomatoes coincides with inshore shrimp season. Well, I missed the peak season, and thanks to the oil spew, I don’t have any shrimp (fresh or frozen). But I do have rich stock I made earlier this summer, and I found some proscuitto ends to enrich the broth. So I made the mid-August, empty-larder version of corn soup. Thanks to the salty proscuitto’s deep flavor and the , the soup was excellent. Here’s a rough outline of a recipe:
- Cut kernels off of 8 ears of corn; scrape cobs with back of knife, catching all of the corn “milk”.
- Chop 1 medium onion, two medium green peppers, three cloves of garlic, and dice about 1/3 to 1/2 cup proscuitto trimmings.
- Heat 2 T olive oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat; saute proscuitto bits in hot oil until fragrant, then add onion. Continue to cook onion until well browned (be patient).
- Add green peppers and garlic; cook until green peppers are softened.
- Reduce heat slightly; stir in corn kernels & liquid from cobs. Cook, stirring frequently, until corn sizzles at the bottom of the pot.
- Add 2 cups seeded, diced tomatoes (canned is fine), 1 quart of shrimp stock, two fresh bay leaves, and 1-2 teaspoons of your favorite pepper sauce.
- Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes until the soup thickens slightly (or cook it longer for a thicker soup). Adjust salt and pepper levels before serving. (Peeled shrimp can be added during the last 10 minutes.)
Back to those proscuitto ends: these nuggets of salty goodness can be purchased at Whole Foods’ Metairie location (check the prepared foods/deli case; look for small plastic containers) or at Nor-Joe Imports on Frisco Avenue, just off of Metairie Road.
Gosh, that sounds good. I’ve used Parmesan cheese ends to flavor soup before, but haven’t gotten as far as prosciutto butts. I’ll have to do that soon.
I usually forget to save the parmesan rind to use for seasoning….when I do remember, it’s especially good in a bean soup.
Mmm, definitely. I can’t wait for fall to arrive so I can start simmering soups all day.
My mom makes this kind of corn soup (though she leaves out the pork these days) and it is so good. Haven’t had any in years.
The thing with soup in the summer is just do quicker ones. Onion soup only takes forty-five minutes if you have stock already, same for potato leek….
Then again I did make stock in June last year because it was the first time I’d had my own air-conditioned kitchen since Katrina.