My grandfather rarely passes a roadside stand without stopping for a bag full of fresh vegetables. It's one of those yearly happenings that let you know that Summer is really here, and that everything is just like it is supposed to be.
Sometimes he would bring home tomatoes. Sometimes cucumbers. But my favorite thing to see poking out of the bag was sweet corn.
Sweet corn is vegetable candy - let's just call it what it is. It's utter perfection grilled and buttered, but it also makes some pretty fine soup, especially if you include bacon and parmesan. Oh boy...
Let's take a close look at this bisque lineup. Our bisque has a foundation of onions and garlic, cooked in bacon grease. Oh yes, good things are happening.
Fresh sweet corn, preferably bought from a stand with no attendant and one of those little jars scribbled with the words "honor system." I love those stands because they make me remember that not everyone is this world is as cynical as I often assume.
Heavy cream, milk, and chicken broth form our liquid team.
Lastly, a parmesan rind is added to bring some rich, cheesy, saltiness to our broth.
After all the ingredients have had some time to get to know one another, they are blended up with a stick blender.
The bisque is finished with unsalted butter, salt, and a twist of fresh lemon.
I like potatoes in my corn chowder, so I decided that they needed to make their may into this bisque somehow. I roasted some fingerlings with olive oil and salt and dropped them into the middle of my bowl before topping it all with bacon and parmesan.
Oh yes -- you should definitely grill some bread and rub it with fresh garlic, for dipping.
Here we are. It's sweet, it's rich, and it is packed full of the flavors of Summer.
Creamy Sweet Corn Bisque
for the roasted potatoes
- 1 lb fingerling potatoes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine potatoes, olive oil, and salt. Toss to coat.
Place the potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake for 15-25 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through and the skins have begun to brown.
Allow to cool slightly before serving with the soup.
for the bisque
- 3 rashers of bacon, diced
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 2 gloves garlic, minced,
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper
- 4 ears fresh sweet corn, corn removed from cob
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 3 cups milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 parmesan rind
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- grated parmesan, for topping
- fresh lemon juice
In a large pot or dutch oven, cook bacon oven medium high heat until crispy. Remove the bacon from pan and reserve for topping.
With the pan still over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, onion, garlic, black pepper (to taste) and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the pan; cook until the edges of the onions are deep golden brown. Add fresh corn and cook for 1-2 minutes, until it begins to brown.
Add heavy cream, milk, broth, and parmesan rind to the pan and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and cook for 25-30 minutes, until the corn is soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Pour the soup into your blender, or use a stick blender to roughly puree the soup. Do not try to get it completely smooth, the bits of corn will provide a pleasant texture. Stir in butter until melted. Finish with salt* and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
Serve immediately with roasted potatoes, reserved bacon, and parmesan. Enjoy!
*I used a whole teaspoon of salt but the portion may vary depending on the saltiness of your bacon.