Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Dare I Say "Rachael Ray"?

I know, I know. There is no Foodtv personality that insights stronger feelings than Rachael Ray. I will not even attempt to enter that minefield but I will say this: she is annoying, her show is annoying, her food is wonderful.

Sometimes Bon Appetit and Gourmet, as yummy as their recipes are, seem just too involved and fussy for a weeknight supper. I need something quick, something that uses ingredients that are in my house and won't take longer than an hour tops to create. Enter Rachael Ray. I have two of her cookbooks which I use on occasion but I also find her website to be very helpful. Less Rachael, more recipes if you know what I mean. If we have some random ingredient lying around the house that may go bad within days, I hop on her site and search the recipes. It is in this way that I came across this corn "stoup" - I know, I know, where does she get these dumb names?

What I like about this soup is that it is hearty, flavorful and packs a big vegetable punch without feeling too vegetarian. Josh and Justin will eat veggies, but they don't really want to know that they are. It's a fine line. Ultimately, this soup won them over in a big way. I threw some 'take and bake' bread in the oven and served it along side for an easy meal after the hockey game on Sunday night. There would be pictures except it was eaten too fast for the camera. Mine looked alot like the pic on the website, honestly.

Quick notes:
I used a food processor and finely chopped the red pepper and onion to make the soup less chunky and a little creamier. The guys seemed to like that.

In order to make it a little healthier, I skipped the cream and added a can of skim evaporated milk. Just remember to cook the soup with the broth only and add the evaporated milk at the very end. The long cooking time tends to make it seperate and curdle.

I also dropped the two cups of milk/ cream and just used the can of milk. That would have been far too much liquid. Add a cup of milk, or a cup of cream or whatever you like.

The only thing I would have added if I had some available, is chopped up kielbasa sausage. I know it negates the vegetarian aspect but it would have made it a little hardier and added a little something extra.

Harvest Corn "Stoup"

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 pound small potatoes, cut into small chunks
4 to 5 large ears corn, kernels scraped from the cobs, or one 10-ounce box frozen corn
1 medium or 2 small zucchini, finely chopped
5 to 6 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon paprika
3 tablespoons flour
One 32-ounce container (4 cups) chicken broth
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and pepper
Hot pepper sauce

In a medium soup pot, heat the olive oil, over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp at the edges.

Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until softened, about 4 minutes.

Add the potatoes, corn, zucchini, thyme, bay leaf and paprika and cook for 4 minutes.

Sprinkle the flour into the pot, stir and cook for 1 minute.

Gradually stir in the broth and simmer until thickened a bit.

Stir in the milk, cream and parsley and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 8 minutes

Season the corn choup to taste with salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce.


Jeena said...

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Emilie said...

This "stoup" sounds very tasty. I don't really like RR either. I admire what a hard worker she is, and how far she's come. If she's just tone it down a little, then she'd be ok with me.

By the way, "Jeena" left the exact same message on my blog.

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