4 oz. smoked slab bacon, diced
1/2 small onion, small dice
1/4 cup small dice fennel bulb (reserve tops for garnish)
1/4 cup small dice celery
2 cobs yellow corn, grated
up to 1 cup whole milk
10 oysters shucked, liquor retained
salt to tastePut the diced bacon in a saute pan over medium heat and cook until the fat has been rendered and the bacon is crispy. Pour off the fat, leaving about 2 teaspoons in the pan with the crispy bacon. Add the onion, celery, and fennel and cook until softened. Remove the pan from the heat for about 30 seconds to allow it to cool slightly, then add the grated corn (it should be very juicy). Return to the heat and stir constantly as it thickens. Once it is bubbling, add half the milk and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the oysters with their liquor. Stir well and judge consistency; if you prefer it to be a little thinner add a bit more milk to desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and heat quickly to desired temperature. Serve at once; if the soup is allowed to stand too long the oysters will overcook and become tough. Serve in warm bowls and garnish with fennel fronds.
bacon recipe courtesy of: Chef Eric Joppie, Bar Avignon, 2138 SE Division Street, Portland, OR 97202; Eric Joppie will be participating in Feast Portland (Sunday, September 22, 10 a.m.). Watch Eric Joppie on KATU.com.