By Sonia Verma
This hearty, smoky soup is a favourite in my house, and it is so easy, I can start throwing it together pretty late — we're talking AFTER afterschool snack time — and know that we'll still eat dinner on time.
All the ingredients are always on hand (I keep slices of bacon in the freezer) and the only real hands-on time is spent dicing the onion and potatoes while the bacon crisps. The rest of it takes care of itself — just dump, stir, boil, then simmer.
I use an onion where the original Chatelaine recipe calls for a leek, and tend to eyeball all the other amounts of ingredients. And I add those tiny precooked salad shrimp for a hit of protein.
Basically, this soup is idiot-proof. You could class it up by using bigger, fresher shrimp, but my kids like the teeny "shrimpies," and I like their convenience and price.
In a large pot, cook the bacon until crisp, then remove from pot.
Pour out the bacon fat, and add the oil.
Sauté the onion over low until tender, 1-2 minutes.
Add potato, broth, milk, creamed corn, corn kernels and thyme. Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
If using frozen precooked shrimp, add after potatoes are cooked, and heat back to a simmer.
Crumble bacon into pot — or over individual bowls — and serve.
If using peas, drop a handful of frozen peas into your child's bowl so they can start eating that much sooner.