Fresh Corn Soup with Smoked Chicken Sausage

I finally used my immersion blender! And it was just as awesome as everyone says! Hooked.

I actually wasn’t going to post this recipe. It was definitely successful and tasty, but when I first made this a few days ago, I thought it could use a few tweaks. I’d have to make it again and then post it. BUT! But then! Then the leftovers. Oh man. I had some more for lunch today after a few days in the fridge, and boy did those flavors amplify! This soup is fantastic! It takes a little time and patience – it’s a good one for a weekend day when you’re around the house. And as I’ve just learned, it works well as a prepare-ahead meal. Make it Saturday, serve it Monday or Tuesday. Easy-peasy. Or serve it same day, of course. But trust me… let this sit and turn into leftover lunch. Woo-hoo!

Intrigued? I started with this recipe that I pinned for a Meatless Monday meal (but then I added chicken sausage, so there goes that plan), and then I played around with it as I tend to do. I don’t know what the corn is like right now where you are, but even though it’s just the start of the season, we already have some really delicious, sweet, bright corn coming into our stores. It only gets better from here. So here you go.

WHAT YOU NEEDcornsoup3
* 4 large ears of fresh sweet corn, shucked
* Kosher salt
* 3T olive oil
* 1/2-3/4C cup diced onion (about 1 small onion)
* 3-5 cloves garlic, chopped
* 1/2C chopped celery (about 2-3 large stalks)
* 1 small red potato, peeled and cubed
* black pepper
* 1/2t cayenne pepper
* 2-4 prepared smoked chicken sausages, chopped
* chopped fresh cilantro, to taste
* optional: a little lowfat milk or fat free half and half

WHAT TO DOcornsoup1
Start by cutting the corn off your cobs. You want to end up with about 3-4 cups of kernels, but frankly, the more the merrier. So while I used 4 ears of corn for my soup, I could see using up to 6, even. Don’t be shy.

Next, take those nude cobs, break them in half, and then plop them into a deep stock pot with about 4 cups of water and a little salt (about 1/2-1t). Bring this to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer about 30 minutes.

Next, throw out those cobs. Remove the liquid (you made corn stock!) from the pot and into a bowl. Set aside. Return the pot to the stove, and over medium heat, saute the onion in the olive oil for about 3-5 minutes, then add the garlic and saute another minute.

Reduce the heat again, to medium low, and add the celery. Stir together, then cover the pot and cook about 5 minutes or so. Then add the potato, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.

Pour in the corn stock you set aside earlier, increase the heat and bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low again, and simmer, covered, about another 30 minutes.

Reserve about 1 cup of the corn kernels from earlier. Pour the rest into the pot and continue to simmer for another 5-10 minutes.

Now! Get out your immersion blender or prepare a regular blender. If you’re using a regular blender, just blend your soup in batches and return to the pot. If you have an immersion blender, blend away! You want the vegetables to puree almost completely, and the soup to start to froth a bit.

cornsoup8cornsoup9Whee! So fast and fun! You’re almost done.

Chop up your chicken sausages, and in a small frying pan, toss the chopped sausage bits around to warm and barely char, releasing all the delicious smoky scents and flavors.

Taste your soup and add seasoning as necessary for your tastebuds. Add the chopped cilantro (I used about 1/4 cup), and stir. Add the rest of your corn and the smoked sausage, and stir through. Cook for 5 more minutes. If you want to thicken it up a bit, this is where you’d add your dairy. But you really might not need it. Wait and see. Don’t commit to it ahead of time. YUM!

Serve hot or cooled. Top with nothing, or any number of fixins: sour cream or creme fraiche, more fresh, chopped cilantro, chopped green onions (!), diced tomatoes, bacon bits (!). Better yet, let it sit in its pot and enrich those flavors for a day or so, then heat it back up and serve. Brilliant!

(Again, here‘s that original recipe that launched my soup.)

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