Monday, September 28, 2009

Soup for you!

Open the windows, close the windows. Open the windows, close the windows. Turn on the fan in the bedroom or get a heavy sleeping bag and throw it on top of the duvet to survive the night? And today, the weather man even dared to utter the "s" word, as in "a chance of s___ on Wednesday." ACK! Last month was AUGUST, for cryin' out loud!

The weather may be a bit schizophrenic right at the moment, but I think I have come up with the PERFECT way to transition between the seasons...with a fabulous, stick-to-your-ribs chowder that blends the last of the summer's harvest with first of autumn's. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: PUMPKIN CORN CHOWDER!

LOOK at it! Don't you just want to dive into that golden-orange lusciousness? And I promise you, it is a wonderful combination of flavors that tastes as good as it looks! It starts off like a basic corn chowder, but I've taken it up a notch by stirring in a can of pumpkin puree at the end (sure, sure...roasted fresh pumpkin would be even better). Then it seemed to want for something else, but what? I tried a little cumin, and that was pretty good, but then I went with a pinch of spicy Madras Curry Powder, and it was absolutely PERFECT with the pumpkin. I didn't want so much that it screamed "CURRY SOUP," but just enough to add a little warmth and depth and sweetness. People, this soup is SO GOOD, especially the next day...as such things so often are. And it yields something close to three quarts, so you will be set for your lunches all week! You're welcome.

Pumpkin Corn Chowder

8 slices bacon, browned and crumbled, fat reserved
2-3 large stalks celery, diced
1 large onion, diced
6 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock
leaves from a large bunch of thyme (or substitute 1/2 teaspoon of dried)
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or 1/4 t. for wimps!)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
6 ears of corn, kernels cut and endosperm scraped from cob (about 6 cups)
8 small to medium red potatoes, cut in one-inch chunks
1 can pumpkin puree (about 1 3/4 cups)
1 cup evaporated milk
handful of fresh parsley, chopped (about 1/4 cup)

In the frying pan used to cook the bacon, saute the celery and onion in 4-6 tablespoons of the reserved fat until tender. Add the stock and stir, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the thyme leaves and bring to a boil.

Transfer the vegetable mixture to a large stock pot, add the curry powder, tumeric, cayenne, salt and pepper, and stir. And the corn kernels and endosperm (the milky stuff scraped from the empty cob with the back of a knife) and the potatoes, and bring back to a boil for about ten minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Stir in the canned pumpkin and the evaporated milk (substitute half and half if you prefer, but I like the flavor of the evaporated). Finally, add the crumbled bacon pieces and the chopped, fresh parsley. Taste to correct seasonings and serve.

5 comments:

MrsKimF said...

the weather dropped 20+ degrees today from yesterday...I'm definitely making this soup this week. Please forgive me though for using frozen corn. How many cups do you think it takes to equal six cobs?

JoyBugaloo said...

No problem, Kim. You'll want about six cups. (Good info for making this in the winter!)

Vicki said...

Please oh please won't you come cook for me? It's a perfect soup day, I'm home sick with two sick kids ... and it just looks so tasty!

*sigh*

MrsKimF said...

He really liked it!

Joanna said...

Made this the other day-- loved it! I added a jar of cannellini beans to the mix, think they worked well. For me, though, 6 ears of corn came out to more like 4 cups once off the cobs-- and it was plenty! This is definitely a make-again recipe. Thank you!