Contrary to what my mom thinks, I don't consider myself a very adventurous cook. In a recent email to me, she wrote: "I am much less adventurous than you and therefore tend not to experiment; I'm happy to do the work when I know it will turn out fine. I like someone else to do the experimenting." I tend to feel that way too, at least most of the time, because who likes to cook or bake something with less than stellar results? Something like these muffins I made earlier in the week that were a perfectly good waste of a can of pumpkin.
This week seems to have- at least temporarily- changed my ways. After being snowed in and having four straight days to cook, I was itching to experiment beyond cabbage soup, my soup of choice the last few weeks. Cabbage is filling and nutritious, but there is only so much cabbage that one girl can eat in a given month.
I've always liked the Corn and Green Chile Bisque at Au Bon Pain. It's a complex mix of spicy and hearty, a filling southwestern style chunky soup with a kick. But the problems with this soup are two-fold: first, it's only served on certain days and it seems that the days I'm passing by ABP during lunch aren't one of them. And second, it's almost $4 for a cup of soup which I'm not going to shell out on a regular basis.
So this week I did something SO unlike me- I attempted to create this soup at home. I assumed the potential risk of failure. But you know what? I did it. I created this soup and it was delicious. NAK even said that it's better than the real thing. Who would have thought that you just dump all the ingredients in a pot, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and 20 minutes later you produce a soup with a careful balance of spice and restaurant-style thickness and chunkiness, but without the added sodium, preservatives and cost.
Now who ever said that I wasn't adventurous???
Corn and Green Chili Bisque
1 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons flour
2 14 ounce cans corn, rinsed and drained
2 small cans green chilies
1 14 ounce can chopped tomatoes
2 teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 cups milk
2 cups vegetable broth
salt and pepper
Heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the onion and saute but do not brown. Add 2 tablespoons of flour to the onions and stir.
Add the corn, chilies and tomatoes and mix. Add the spices and the milk and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 20-30 minutes until blended together. Taste then season with salt and pepper.
Pulse soup in the blender or with a hand mixer but do not puree - soup should be chunky. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.