Saturday, July 06, 2013

Recipe: Buttermilk-Corn Soup with Fresh Thyme

.Adapted from Health magazine, July/August 2013.

There used to be a wonderful restaurant in Findlay, Ohio called Revolver, so named because the menu would change with the seasons according to what was fresh and available. My husband and I only got the chance to eat there once, in the summer, before it closed and the owner went on to other ventures. Since then we have been sighing fondly over the Sweet Corn Bisque that we had there as one of our courses.

This recipe in Health looked promising, so I tried making it today. I made some adaptations because I didn't want a smoky, Southwestern-inspired soup, I wanted something that tasted just like fresh sweet corn, but better, like the mythical soup from Revolver. I substituted fresh thyme for the shrimp, and left out the other spices, except the salt and fresh-ground pepper. I also substituted a tablespoon of butter for one of the tablespoons of olive oil. I also like smaller servings of soup, so I plan to divide this into five instead of four. Calories and stats are above in the Lose It! screenshot.

Edited ingredients list:

3 cups of sweet corn kernels, cut from the cob (about 4 ears)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cups of buttermilk
1/4 cup half and half
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon (or to taste) salt
1/4 teaspoon (or to taste) black pepper

First, I had to cut the corn kernels off the cob.  If anyone has a way to do this that doesn't make a splattery mess, please let me know. I finally put my cup measure into my sink and cut the corn into it, which was the neatest method I could find.  It was still messy and some of the corn got into the sink instead of the cup measure.

Then, I warmed the oil in a heavy-bottomed dutch oven over medium heat and added the onion and the fresh thyme.  This is the point where I got the idea to add butter to the mix instead of the third tablespoon of oil called for in the recipe.

Once that was melted, I let the onions soften a bit and then added the corn kernels and salt. I sauteed the corn mixture for about three minutes.

Then I removed the pan from the heat and added the buttermilk.

The recipe called for putting half of this mixture into a blender to smooth it out. Instead, I pulled out my trusty stick blender. I wanted a pretty chunky soup so I only blended it for a little while.

And then I ground in some fresh pepper. I like a lot of pepper.

It was time for a taste test.  We both agreed that with all the buttermilk, it was a little sour. I added a quarter-cup of half and half to sweeten it. I might have used regular milk, but I don't have any. I only have the half and half for my coffee. I didn't think vanilla-flavored almond milk would work, even if it is unsweetened.

That little bit of sweet cream made a big difference. I am chilling the rest of the soup for later, but I had to finish my little sample bowl.  It's not quite the soup we had at Revolver, but it's a pretty good substitute.  

I will probably try a few other recipes, but not until I find a better way of getting the corn off the cob.

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"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07