By: Deanna Linder
Twelve years ago I met Assaf, outside of the discotheque in Club Med in Eilat, while vacationing in Israel. It was one of those chance meetings that change your life in a drastic way. Incidentally though, along with meeting my soul mate, I also received a “soul-brother”. I just made up the term so I will elaborate.
Yonatan was then 8 years old. I was 18. Exactly 10 years apart (to the day). I barely spoke Hebrew and he barely spoke English, but we understood each other. We bonded over our shared love for soccer, watching the same movies repeatedly, fresh squeezed juices, hanging by the pool, etc. We hung out for days on end (Assaf was in the army) simply enjoying each other’s company, and learning a different language (him English, me Hebrew). At that time I was still living in the states and would come visit often. Every time I would leave, he would prepare for me a “flight-package”- a collection of crossword puzzles (he made himself), drawings, old photos of Assaf , that I was to keep closed until I got on the plane to keep me busy for the long haul flight ahead of me.
When I finally made the move, the hardest part for me was leaving my best friend, my real brother, behind. It was comforting to know that at I had a “soul-brother” waiting for me.
He is now 20, over 6 feet tall, and a soldier in the army (mandatory for all 18 year olds, men and women). He doesn’t come home that often, but when he does, I like to prepare for him his favorite foods. This soup is one of them.
For this recipe, I remove the corn from the kernel, retain the corn stalks and add them during the cooking process. I find that this adds a deeper corn flavor to the soup. The bacon is not a must, but it adds depth of flavor to the soup.
Ingredients for 6-8 servings:
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup uncooked bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons (25 grams) butter
2 large onions, finely chopped
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch (2½ cm.) cubes
¼ teaspoon turmeric
6 cups chicken stock or water
5 fresh corn ears, kernels removed (do not discard stalks)
2 cups half and half (10% heavy cream in Israel)
1 cup sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until the bacon is crisp, about 5-7 minutes, and then remove bacon with a slotted spoon. Keep aside for garnish.
- Add the butter and onions to the pan and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the flour and stir until combined.
- Add the potatoes and turmeric and cook for 2-3, while constantly stirring.
- Add the chicken stock, corn kernels and retained stalks (as many that will fit in the pan) and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook for 20-25 minutes, until the potatoes are completely cooked through. Remove corn stalks and discard.
- Add the half and half and cook for another 10 minutes on low heat.
- Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese and crisp bacon and serve.