Soup Season…Somewhere

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We are well into October, and that means soup weather… somewhere! Just yesterday on Okinawa, we had a heat index warning; 90 degrees F with the heat index sitting at a balmy 112 degrees F – in October! Well, I don’t care ~ I will eat soup! I will just do so in my air conditioned dining room, with the shades closed to mimic a cool, crisp, overcast day! I think a good creamy chowder, with lots of  vegetables hidden inside the sweet silkiness, served up with fresh crusty bread and a simple salad of baby greens with toasted pumpkin seeds and pomegranate seeds.

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Smokey Corn Chowder with Cheddar

  • 2 red or yellow potatoes, washed & diced
  • 4 ears of corn or 4 cups frozen sweet corn
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 parsnip, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 c celery, diced
  • 1 roasted poblano, peeled & chopped
  • 4 T butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 5 c vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 c milk
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 2 T flour
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1/4 c Parmigiano, finely grated
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp tarragon
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 slices crisp, cooked bacon, crumbled

In a large stock pot, combine 2 T butter, olive oil, potatoes, onion, garlic, parsnip, carrot and celery; season with 1/2 tsp kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the remaining 2 T butter over medium heat; stir in sugar and 3 cups of corn; season with 1 tsp salt and ground black pepper. Add flour, cooking until browned, about 4 minutes. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup heavy cream; cook just until mixture starts to thicken; stir in Parmigiano. Remove from heat.745492

Going to the stock pot, stir in 2 cups broth and simmer about 20 minutes. Spoon vegetables, poblano pepper and 1 1/2 cups corn into a blender, add 1 cup broth and blend until desired consistency (I don’t mind a few chunky bits… adds to the flavor of each bite). Slowly return to the stock pot, stirring gently. Add remaining 1/2 cup milk, 1 1/2 cup corn and more broth, if needed. Check for seasonings; stir in the paprika. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat, stir in remaining heavy cream. Simmer about 10 minutes. Now, if you’ve done the math and followed the recipe, you notice you have an extra cup of corn…get your broiler nice and hot; spread corn on foil-lined baking sheet and put under the broiler for 3 minutes. Remove, toss with crumbled bacon & parsley, set aside. Serve up the soup in a deep bowl, top with corn and crumbled bacon mixture and sprinkle with cheddar cheese – don’t forget the crusty bread ~ this is one soup made for dipping’! 

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