This is such an inviting, flavorful soup that couldn't be more perfect for these chilly fall days. This soup is hearty and filling. It'll really warm you up from the inside out. And, it's just as good (if not better) reheated, so this would be something super fitting if you're a person who likes to make up a large pot of soup for the week ahead. After all, some days there is nothing more comforting and perfect than being curled up on the couch with a coffee cup of reheated soup in hand, fuzzy slippers on our piggies, blanket-draped shoulders and the remote at our side.
My family found that we thoroughly enjoyed this garnished with some freshly-shaved Parmesan cheese on top. The sharp, salty notes in the cheese paired perfectly with the sweetness brought to the party by the corn.
The browned sausage lends a lot in terms of flavor to this soup, but it could easily omitted if desired. An alternative that I would recommend would be to garnish the soup with a little cooked, crumbled bacon at time of service.
NOTE: Fresh, chopped spinach can be added in place of the kale if desired. Chop either into the size pieces that you prefer. I like the kale roughly chopped, but it can be chopped a little finer if desired.
Yields 6 servings.
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 ears sweet corn, shucked
1/2 pound ground Italian sausage (casings removed if in link form)
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup flour
2 cups whole milk
3 cups chicken stock
4 - 5 large potatoes, cubed (peel on or off - your choice)
2 cups chopped kale or spinach
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
Pinch freshly-ground nutmeg
Pinch cayenne pepper for garnish (optional - if you like your soup with a kick)
Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a large stock or soup pot over medium-high heat. Lay the ears of corn down into the pot and cook while rotating the corn occasionally until some slight charring appears. Do not burn the corn ... only slightly begin to char it in a few spots. (No need to fully cook the corn at this point as it will cook once incorporated into the soup later.) Remove the corn from the pot. Turn burner off. Allow corn to cool slightly until able to handle. Cut kernels off of corn cobs and discard cobs.
Then, using the same pot, brown up the sausage until fully cooked over medium heat. Transfer sausage to a plate using a slotted spoon and discard the grease left behind.
Melt the butter in the same pot. Add in the onions and garlic. Cook until starting to become translucent - about three minutes. Sprinkle in the flour. Stir to coat onions and garlic with flour. Allow the raw flour taste to cook off - another few minutes. Add in the milk and chicken stock. Whisk until smooth. Bring to a slight simmer.
Add in the corn kernels, cubed potatoes and cooked sausage. Allow soup to simmer until potatoes are almost fully cooked. Add in the nutmeg and red pepper flakes (if using). Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
(If at any time the soup is too thick for your liking, thin with a little more stock.)
Stir in the chopped kale. Allow soup to simmer over medium-low heat for another ten minutes or so (or until kale is cooked to your liking).
Turn burner off and allow soup to "rest" for a few minutes prior to serving.
Recipe slightly adapted from Good Life Eats.