Last year my good friend Rick Edwards grew a bunch of corn for me. I had gotten this crazy idea that I wanted to grow and make my very own grits. With Rick's help I was able to do that and have been enjoying fresh ground homemade grits on a regular basis. The only problem is that Rick grew a lot of corn and after he dried and shelled it we ended up having a shit ton of green Oaxacan dent corn. As much as I love grits there is only so much grits a guy can make. So I had to branch out and start grinding the corn finer and making other things with the corn he grew.
The first thing I could think of was to make corn bread, after all everyone loves cornbread and if I could make my own cornbread with the ground corn I had all the better. I immediately looked at Sean Brock's book, Heritage. I had gotten the idea to grow and make my own grits from him in the first place so it was only fitting that I used his recipe for corn bread. If you have never made real cornbread I highly recommend his recipe. The combination of buttermilk and bacon make it one of the best things I have ever eaten.
After making the cornbread I had read another recipe in Brock's book that looked interesting. Cornbread and buttermilk soup. As much as I love cornbread it does sort of lose something after a day or two. Having a recipe that uses leftover cornbread was genius. The soup is very simple to make and can be made as thick of thin as you would want. Brock states that it can be served both cold and hot but here in Minnesota in January Hot was the only choice that made sense. I did try it cold as well and can see how on a hot summer day it would make a nice starter soup.
It's not often that one has left over cornbread but in the rare instance you do give this soup a try. I reserved some of the cornbread and toasted it in bacon fat to make cornbread croutons. I finished the soup with a drizzle of buttermilk and some fresh parsley. I still have a five gallon bucket full of corn in the freezer so I will definitely be making this again.
Cornbread Buttermilk Soup
2 cups crumpled day old cornbread
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup light chicken stock
1/2 of a white onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic
1 stalk of celery
2 tablespoons of pork lard or butter
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the lard or butter until hot and add the onion garlic and celery and cook over medium heat until soft, 4-5 minutes. Add the stock and heat until boiling then add the cornbread and stir. Mix in the buttermilk and cook covered for 15-20 minutes. Using a stick blender blend until smooth, or transfer to a blender and do the same. return to heat and taste for seasoning, add slat and pepper as needed.
I added a few dashes of my Habanero Hot sauce and the toasted cornbread croutons.