Cream of Corn and White Beans, with Polenta Croutons

A creamy, hearty soup with Italian accents. Polenta is a great substitute for bread croutons.

  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cooking: 25 min - 30 min
  • Refrigeration: 30 min
Yields 4 servings
cream of corn and white beans with polenta croutons

Ingredients

  • Polenta
  • Enough butter to grease the baking dish
  • 1 cup (250 mL) Milk
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) fine corn semolina (#250)
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) Butter
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) Canadian Parmesan grated
  • Salt to taste
  • Cream of corn and white beans
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
  • 1 medium-sized onion chopped
  • 1 celery stalk thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 2 cups (500 mL) frozen corn thawed
  • 1 cup (250 mL) cooked white beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup (250 mL) chicken broth
  • 2 cups (500 mL) Milk
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh basil minced
  • Topping
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) olive oil
  • The polenta cooked, cooled and cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) red bell pepper finely diced
  • Minced basil to taste

Preparation

Butter a 5 x 9 in (13 x 22 cm) dish. In a small saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat until it simmers. Sprinkle in the corn semolina and reduce the heat to minimum. Continue to stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture starts coming off the sides of the saucepan, which will take from 5 to 10 minutes. Add the butter and Parmesan; mix and season to taste. Pour the polenta into the buttered dish. Press and smooth with a rubber spatula. Let cool and refrigerate.

In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Sweat the onions and celery for 5 minutes, then add the rest of the ingredients except for the basil. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to minimum. Let simmer for 20 minutes until the celery is well cooked. Let cool for 10 minutes, add the fresh basil, then reduce into a smooth purée in a blender. Adjust the seasonings as needed.

In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Saurté the polenta cubes then add the bell pepper. Place on a paper towel.

Serve the soup in bowls and decorate with the topping.

Tips

Practical tips: Corn semolina is sometimes sold as “polenta” or “yellow corn meal.” In this recipe, we used #250. If you like, you can buy semolina with a finer or coarser texture; the cooking time will vary accordingly.

Tips: If needed, add broth to the soup when reducing into a purée to get your desired consistency. For a heartier meal, add cubes of chorizo or ham.

For a flavour twist: Add 1 cup (250 mL) of chopped raw spinach into the cream of corn right before serving. The spinach will provide an additional kick of colour and flavour. You can replace the fresh basil with 1 tsp (5 mL) of dried basil; you will need to add it 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time.

For stronger flavours, replace the basil with sage or rosemary; in this case, decrease the amount by half.

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Nutrition

Nutritional Information

per serving
Energy: 343 Calories
Protein: 16 g
Carbohydrate: 44 g
Fat: 13 g
Fibre: 5.7 g
Sodium: 319 mg

Top 5 Nutrients

 
(% DV*)
Calcium: 29 % / 315 mg
Vitamin B12: 54 %
Vitamin D: 48 %
Folate: 40 %
Vitamin C: 33 %