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.