Oftentimes my dinner is the product of my raking through the refrigerator to figure out what I have on hand. Yesterday, I came up with carrots and celery (left over from my lentil soup). On a rainy day in San Francisco, my brain processed this information and began to plead for soup.
Since I just made a couple different soups last week, I wanted to make something that was totally different: bonjour Tartine Gourmand! I can always depend on the Tartine Gourmand, a beautiful blog by a French woman who takes pictures of her getaways, along with whimsical pictures of the food she makes to take along. I found this lovely soup, and cheapified it but still made something cozy, creamy, and delicious.
YOUNG CORN AND CELERY SOUP
3/4 bag of frozen corn ($1.29)
1 1/2 cups whole milk ($1.49)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion or shallot, diced ($0.40)
1 garlic clove, peeled and grated finely ($1)
2 young carrots, peeled and diced ($1.29)
2 celery branches, diced ($1)
Salt and pepper
3/4 to 1 cup cold water
Dash of paprika
About 5 to 6 cherry tomatoes, diced
Chiffonade of fresh basil
I left out (but I'm sure it would be good if you included): 1 small celeriac with greens attached, peeled and diced (about 3 oz once cleaned), 3 thyme twigs, 1 bay leaf
The Grand Total: $6.47 for about 2-3 servings, or $3.23 per serving
Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a thick-bottomed pot and when hot, add the onion and thyme. Let cook, without browning, for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute.
Add the celery branch, carrot, celeriac with its greens, and the bay leaf. Let cook for 5 minutes. Add the corn kernels — reserve about 2/3 cup that you boil for 1 minute in salted water — and 1.5 cups water, and the milk. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes, or until all the vegetables are fork-tender.
Remove the thyme and bay leaf, then puree the soup in the blender or food processor. Check the texture of the soup and if too thick, add more water. Season to taste. Serve warm in bowls with the diced tomatoes, the extra corn kernels, fresh parsley and basil. Finish with a dash of paprika.