This time of year I start getting restless. There are only a few more weeks until we head back home. For some reason the process never gets easier, there is so much to do to prepare for the trip back. This is when I begin earnestly cleaning out the freezer and pantry drawers. Many strange meals will be eaten. The garden will be winterized, the outside furniture brought in and the gutters cleaned. Our trip back will include a few days in Northern CA. We plan to spend time in the Mendocino area with a stop by glass beach and bowling ball beach and hike the trails.
Here are two soup recipes, one I made last week with late summer corn and the other yesterday with the season’s first butternut squash; both veggies from the farmers market. One a celebration of summer; the other of fall. In the corn chowder cumin and turmeric was added to give the soup a nice flavor twist. And with the butternut black bean soup, cumin and red pepper flakes were added for a spicy finish.
Slightly adapted from 50 chowders by Jasper White.
3 medium ears corn (husk, and cut kernels from cobs)
3 slices bacon (cut into 1/3 dice)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium olive (diced)
2 stalks celery (diced)
2 sprigs fresh thyme, (leaves removed and chopped)
1/2 ground cumin
3 medium Yukon potatoes (cut into ½ dice)
3 cups chicken broth
½ cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon fresh chives (for garnish)
Heat a soup pot over medium low heat; add bacon. Cook until bacon is crisp. Pour off all but one tablespoon of fat, keep bacon in pot. Add butter, olive oil, onions and celery; stirring occasionally cook about 5 minutes then add cumin and turmeric stirring more often for another 3 to 4 minutes. Add potatoes and stock and cook until potatoes are cooked through about 15 minutes. Turn off heat and add corn, cover and let sit about 10 minutes. Remove completely from heat. Stir in the cream, salt and pepper to taste.
To serve: dish into bowls and garnish with chives.