Wednesday, February 6, 2008

"Summer" Corn & Bean Soup

I have a secret. It's time to let it out - I am a self-proclaimed soup fanatic, especially during the winter months. I mean, what's better than soup? You can't deny soup its rightful place in the winter food line-up - usually low-calorie (I tend not to make cream-based soups), easy, one-pot, leaves lots of leftovers, hearty and reasonably cheap to make! I've decided to break out and share my soup arsenal with the world :)

I have already made a few soups/stews on this blog - check out these links:

Onto the soup at hand -- winter is definitely not the best time to make this dish. But,...I had a craving for it and it turned out great even though corn is not in season right now. The recipe hails from Cooking light originally, but after making it for the last few years, I have made quite a few changes. Oh yeah, I know the photograph really features the cornbread - I made that too, but it was just a basic recipe so I'm not posting it (feel free to email me if you are interested :).

Summer Corn and Bean Soup (adapted from Cooking Light)

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup diced sweet onion
2 thick slices of ham, diced
3 cups fresh corn kernels (about 5 ears)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can cannelini beans, rinsed and drained (sometimes, I add a bit more if I have them hanging around the house)
1 can chick peans, rinsed and drained
Chicken or vegetable broth (approximately 2-3 cups)
Dash of chili powder
Shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese (for topping)

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and ham, and cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until onion is softened.

2. Stir in corn and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer approximately 15-20 minutes or until thoroughly heated and combined. If the soup is too thick, add more broth.

3. Use imersion blender to blend the soup to desired consistency. I tend to leave mine a bit chunky.

4. Serve with cheese or sour cream, if desired. Enjoy!

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