Thursday, September 1, 2016

Dairy Free Corn Soup

Good Afternoon Readers!

I just felt like it was a day to be writing. I know that I always talk about the same things, I am busy with this or that and then my blogging seems to fall through the cracks.

But today I am writing you to let you know that I will be revamping the blog. Danielle and I have parted ways due to her work with It Works. She is very busy with all of her clients that she needed to take a break away from her blog duties. Obviously I have taken a HUGE break so it isn't as if she has been needed in the last year but going forward I will be flying solo. 

I don't know about you but my absolute favorite season is Autumn and the temperatures here have finally dipped low enough for me to dust off my trusty dutch oven and make some soul warming soup. I know it seems silly that I would actually be excited for cold weather, but strangely  by the middle of July I am ready for sweaters, boots and long walks in the brisk weather carrying a hot cocoa. I know I am getting  a head of myself but I just can't help it, there is just so much to love about fall in Minnesota. This includes the start of soup making season! 

I love making soups, stews and chili's because it is such an easy fix for the weekday meal dilemma. I find the hardest time of the year to plan meals is the summer because most of the foods we crave do not last long in the fridge. Which I understand that most of the foods that we eat in the summer aren't very labor intensive but sometimes I just want to come home to already prepped foods ready to just be reheated and consumed. So essentially I am excited to prep all my food one day a week and come home to lovely home cooked food.

After some trial and error I have found the most ridiculously good way to make diary free corn soup. I had a friend over a week ago and I had planned for weeks to make cheesy grits for our side dish. My cousin had brought me back some grits from North Carolina and I had been trying to think of a time where it would be okay for me to consume all that butter, cream and cheese. I decided a fancy dinner with friends would be the perfect outlet and then a day before the dinner I remember that she is dairy free. Feeling a little disappointed, I went back to the drawing board to scrap together another side dish. After an hour or so of half-assed research I decided I needed to find a GREAT recipe for dairy free grits. This task became harder than I thought seemed possible, I mean one would think that at this day an age I could easily find a substitute for that lovely creamy southern staple. Weirdly, no such luck, so instead I put my creating cap on and mashed together a whole bunch of recipes. Luckily they turned out great, but it was my addition of smoked turkey stock that really brought these dairy free grits to another level. I decided to take it a step further and make corn soup.

Last winter David and I smoked a whole turkey (which I recommend all of  meat eaters out there need to at least attempt once in your life, it is absolutely scrumptious!) and we saved the carcass in the freezer. I then just put together a quick bone broth with water, carrots, celery, onions, the carcass and garlic. This stock really embodies that umami flavor needed to mimic that richness the cream tends to add to both grits and corn soup. So now that you know the secret to making really awesomely rich dairy free corn soup, I will give you the step by step directions below!

Dairy-Free Corn Soup

3 Fresh cobs of corn
3 grilled cobs of corn ( I think this adds another dimension, I cooked them until most of the kernels were a golden brown color, if some of the kernels burn that is alright too, its a little hard to cook them evenly.)
4 stalks of celery, diced into small pieces
1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced into small pieces
1/2 red pepper, diced into small pieces
2 big shallots
1 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme
1 C. almond milk
1 T olive oil or coconut oil
3 C Smoked Turkey Stock (if you don't have access to a smoked turkey or chicken a good way to get that smoke flavor into your stock would be to char some egg plant in your broiler or on the grill and add that to your stock, they really add a nice smokey flavor to foods. If you are in a pinch you can also just add a few drops of liquid smoke, but watch out it is VERY intense)
Salt and pepper to taste

First step is to get the stock made, if you follow Danielle's recipe for bone broth you will achieve the same results, just substitute the chicken for your smoked turkey or smoked egg plant. I would cook the egg plant until it is almost burnt to really achieve the smokiness needed to permeate into the broth. I made the stock a week before I made the soup, I would recommend doing it at least a day in advance since the stock takes so long to get to the right consistency. 

You then want to grill your 3 cobs of corn. Once grilled cut the kernels off all 6 cobs, this includes the raw cobs (SAVE AND CUT YOUR COBS IN HALF!). Set this all aside. Chop your vegetables and add them to a heated Dutch oven or larger soup pot with your oil of choice. Cook until the vegetables start to turn slightly golden (do not burn!). Add the rosemary, thyme and corn. Cook all together for about 2 minutes. Add your stock and your reserved cobs. Bring the mixture to a boil and then turn the burner down to a low simmer. Cook the soup on low for about an hour. 

Once your soup has had time to meld together, remove the cobs and add the almond milk. Blend the soup together using an immersion blender (if you only have a regular blender this is fine, I would let the soup cool before attempting this and do it in small batches to blend more evenly). Once you have broken down all the corn you have two options. I like the texture the corn husks give the soup but you can also strain it through a fine sieve for a smoother consistency. You are now free to enjoy your soup! This recipe makes about 6 servings.

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