Popcorn Soup with Cheddar Croutons

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Want to whip up a little something different for date night in? Try Chef Cory Vitiello's corn soup, thickened with popcorn kernels, and garnished with popcorn and cheddar cheese croutons.

Popcorn Soup with Cheddar Croutons

Ingredients:

1 small onion, small dice
1 leeks, white parts only, small dice
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 sprigs of thyme, chopped
1 cup corn kernels
2 cups popcorn, popped
3cups chicken stock
kosher salt
black pepper, finely ground
pinch cayenne pepper
3/4 cup grated, old white cheddar cheese

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, heat 2 T of butter over medium heat. Add the onion, leek and garlic; sweat the vegetables for approximately 7 minutes, taking care not to brown them.

Add the corn, 1 cup of the popped corn, salt, pepper, thyme, cayenne and chicken stock. Cover with a lid and simmer for 30-40 minutes, adding more stock if necessary.

While the soup is cooking, take the remaining pop corn and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle half the cheese on the pop corn and bake for 5 minutes in a 350F oven, or just long enough for the cheese to melt and slightly toast. Reserve for garnishing the soup.

Ladle the hot soup into a blender with 1 T cold butter and remainder of cheese. Blend on high until the soup is a velvety consistency. Adjust with salt and pepper. Serve straight away with the pop corn garnish.

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