Archive for September, 2012


September here is such an interesting time of transition. Summer produce is still available but the chill in the air makes a Panzanella salad not quite as satisfying as it had been in late July. Squash and other fall produce are starting to appear but I am not ready to accept the change in the season. As far as I’m concerned, if I don’t have to wear an overcoat, it is still summer. So, I made corn chowder. It allows me to squeeze every drop out of summer and still quietly acknowledge that, yes, it is almost over.

For my corn chowder, I wanted something hearty enough to serve as a meal that didn’t require meat or cream. The process of layering flavors in soup was fascinating. If you haven’t yet, I really encourage you to make a soup without a recipe. For me, it was drama filled but I learned about flavor.

I’ve included not a recipe but notes about what I did, why, and what happened. Like I said, I encourage you to experiment with soup.


Corn Chowder Tasting Notes

6 ears of corn
1/2 onion
2 cups cherry tomatoes
2 jalapeno
2 tablespoons butter
unsweetened, plain soy yogurt

Cook onions on low heat untill soft and brown.
Chop cherry tomatoes in half and jalapeno into similarly sized pieces.
Bake tomatoes and jalapeno at 350 check every 10 minutes. Remove when browned.
I browned all of my veggies because I wanted a smokey depth to the flavor.
Steam corn.
Remove kernels from cobb.
Blend kernels from 3 and 1/2 ears of corn and onion with enough broth to allow the blender to work. Add salt to taste.
I didn’t add all of the corn because I wanted a cream soup but I hate drinking my meal. I need something to chew to feel like I am eating. This ended up being a great decision but will explain that more in a bit. At this point my soup was a nice thicker consistency but fairly bland.
Add about 2/3s of the tomatoes and jalapeno mixture in small batches, tasting after each addition. I did not and boy do I regret it. I tasted my soup only after adding the full 2/3s of tomato and jalapeno and it was way too spicy for me to eat
Add yogurt to taste. I added too much jalapeno so I added more yogurt than I wanted to balance out. It made the flavors a bit muddier than I wanted but my it saved my soup! I was so relieved.
Add about 1/2 the head of cilantro Oh my, cilantro is magical. It added such a lovely freshness to the soup. Sadly, at this point, my soup had stopped tasting like corn but. . .
Add the whole corn kernels back into the soup. Do not blend At the end, my soup tasted darn close to what I had hoped. Hearty, full of summer flavor, a little spicy, and a little creamy. There was more yogurt than I wanted but I was so pleased that I hadn’t just ruined the whole time that I was willing to forgive the soup.

So, a roller coaster of emotion and some darn tasty soup. Try making soup without a recipe. Taste as you go and know that you can fix whatever happens mid process.


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