Sunday. Dinner is going to be a bit late so, to satisfy grumbling tummies, I made this soup ahead and served it as a snack. It’s filling enough but not too filling that we’d still feel full by the time the rice and air-fried chicken are ready.
What’s so special about this soup? Oh, everything. The flavors, the colors, the texture. The broth especially which was made by simmering a whole ear of sweet corn in chicken broth for half an hour. A whole ear of corn? Not corn kernels? Yes, a whole ear and not just the kernels.
There is so much flavor in the cob, you see. It’s not edible, you will discard it later, but you can draw out all the goodness just by dropping the whole ear of corn in broth. After half an hour of simmering, take the corn, lay on a plate to cool and continue making the soup.
In a clean pan, brown cut up bacon until at least a tablespoon of fat has been rendered. Scoop out the bacon leaving the rendered fat in the pan. If you end up with more than a tablespoon of bacon fat, take out the excess, cool, transfer to a jar, keep in the fridge and reserve for future use.
Add butter to the rendered bacon fat and heat until melted. How much butter? I used two tablespoons. Together with the bacon fat, the amount of fat used to make the roux was three tablespoons. So, I also used three tablespoons of flour. If you prefer a thicker soup, use more butter and flour. Just remember that you need equal amounts of fat and flour.
Immediately after dumping in the flour, stir it into the fat until the mixture is smooth. Cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, to make a blonde roux. Don’t allow it to turn dark. This is a soup, not gravy, so you just want to cook the flour so it doesn’t leave a powdery sensation in the mouth later.
While the roux cooks, cut the corn kernels off the cob. Then, use your knife to scrape any remaining portion of the kernels still attached to the cob. Whatever you are able to scrape will add even more flavor to your soup. The cob can be discarded at this point.
Ladle a cup of broth into the roux and whisk until fully integrated. Add the rest of the broth (with the carrot bits) little by little whisking after each addition. It might be tempting to just pour in the broth in one go but that may result in a less smooth soup. You want to make sure that there are no floury lumps and the best way to do that is to take time in adding the broth. Pour it slowly and whisk as you do.
Add the corn to the simmering soup, stir and allow the mixture to reach a gentle boil before stirring in the browned bacon and a couple of tablespoons of sliced scallions. Taste the soup, adjust the seasonings if needed, before serving.
Corn, carrot and bacon soup
- Heat the broth in a pot. Add the ear of corn and the chopped carrot.
- Bring to a gentle boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, fish out the corn and cool.
- Heat another pan, spread the bacon and cook, stirring often, until browned and fat has been rendered.
- Scoop out the bacon leaving a tablespoon of rendered fat in the pan.
- Cut the kernels off the cooled ear of corn.
- Add the butter to the bacon fat and melt.
- Dump in the flour and stir briskly until the mixture is smooth. Cook into a blonde roux.
- Add the broth (with the carrot pieces) little by little into the roux whisking as you pour.
- Allow the thickened soup to reach a gentle boil then stir in the corn kernels. Simmer for a minute or two.
- Stir in the bacon and scallions.
- Taste, add salt if needed, and serve the soup while hot.