I started working on this recipe after getting a fabulous corn soup from Caffe Tosca in Hingham, Massachusetts towards the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. A savory, smoky, satisfying roasted corn soup was exactly the flavorful security blanket I had been looking for, and it turned out to be the perfect reward for a hard morning's work. Even better, it can be easily prepared on Sunday afternoon and kept in the fridge or freezer for the rest of the week.
This soup can sit in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or it can be frozen and thawed overnight in the refrigerator. Days 2 and 3 may indeed be its most flavorful days!
It can be easily reheated in the microwave, though I recommend reheating in a small pot on the stove and roasting a few fresh pieces of bacon while you finish up your last morning task before lunch.
The cooking and prep time overlap slightly, as detailed in the recipe.
This recipe is inspired by Emily Bites's Roasted Corn Soup, available at https://emilybites.com/2017/12/roasted-corn-soup.html. I have increased the number of servings, made it heavier and a bit richer by using heavy cream and pureeing all of the corn, and added a nice heat with the harissa paste. The addition of chives adds a nice onion-y dimension as well. —Allie Van Dine
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two sheet pans with foil. If you’re using frozen corn, defrost the kernels in the microwave for about 4 minutes.
In a bowl, mix the corn with the olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Place this mixture on one sheet pan. On the other, place the bacon. Roast both pans at 400 degrees. The bacon will take 15-20 minutes, and the corn will take 20-25 minutes.
While both pans roast, prep your other ingredients: chop the onion, mince the garlic, and peel and chop the potatoes.
When the corn is done, remove it from the oven and loosen the kernels with a spatula. Let cool.
When the bacon is done, remove it from the oven and pour off the bacon fat into a small heatproof bowl. Transfer the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate.
Pour the reserved bacon fat (up to 2 tbsp) into a dutch oven or large soup pot and set on medium heat.
Add the onion to the warm bacon fat, sprinkle with salt, and saute over medium until soft--about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic, and saute an additional 1 minute. Add the harissa, and saute 1 more minute.
Pour in the broth and add the potatoes and paprika. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer, half-covered, for 20 minutes, until potatoes are really soft.
While the soup simmers, prep your add-ins: finely chop the chives and dice the bacon.
After 20 minutes, add the roasted corn and heavy cream to the pot, and stir. Blend with an immersion blender in the pot (or by transferring the soup to a blender), until smooth.
Ladle the soup into bowls, top with chopped bacon and chives, and serve hot.emily b