This thick, sweet, satisfying soup is a favorite of kids and adults. This is wonderful to make at the beginning of autumn as the weather cools but when there is still plenty of fresh corn!
• 4 cups corn, fresh, canned, or frozen
• 1 Tbsp butter or margarine
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
• 1 green or red bell pepper, finely chopped
• 1 small potato, diced
• 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 1 chili pepper, finely chopped (optional)
• 1 Tbsp cornmeal or flour
• Salt and pepper
• 4-8 corn cobs, with corn removed
• 2 bay leaves (optional)
• To make corn broth, place the cobs and bay leaves in a large stockpot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn the heat down to medium and let the water boil for about 30 minutes. Taste the broth and add salt and pepper until it tastes lightly corny. Boil it down until you have about 5 cups of liquid. The broth will keep for several months if frozen, or a few weeks in the refrigerator.
• To make the soup, melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven on medium heat. Add onion, celery, bell pepper, and potato, then stir. Cover the pot and let everything fry and steam for about 5 minutes.
• Take the lid off the pot and add the garlic and chili pepper, if using.
• Stir the vegetables, using a splash of water or broth to free any that get stuck to the bottom of the pot. Let the vegetables cook, stirring occasionally, until they are lightly browned and soft, about 5 more minutes. The potatoes will not be fully cooked.
• Add the corn and cornmeal or flour to the pot and stir. Cover with about 5 cups of broth and bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the broth thickens.
• Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a slice of garlic bread or add a hard-boiled egg for extra protein.