Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Soup season

I know I might be declaring the official season of soup a bit prematurely, but tonight was definitely an opening ceremony of sorts. For the first time in months, it feels like there's a hint of fall in the air. I took it as a sign. A soup sign.

I decided to make the corn, tomato, and basil chowder featured in last week's New York Times dining section. It's a perfect end of summer recipe, using all sorts of farmer's market ingredients that we won't be able to enjoy in just a few short weeks. But the recipe allows you to play a bit more tricks with all the goodies -- no plain corn on the cob or tomato salads for this dish (much as I adore both of the those things). Like all nice chowders, this one is thick and hearty, even without cream or milk. The perfect warm supper for the first cool night of the season.

Corn, tomato, and basil chowder
Adapted from the New York Times

You will need:

5 beautiful ears of fresh corn
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
4 cups of chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 pound red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
A handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup chopped basil
Juice of 1/2 lime

Slice corn kernels off cob and place in a bowl. Run back of a knife along each cob to remove additional corn pulp Add pulp to bowl and reserve the cobs. In a large soup pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add in onion and garlic. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add broth, reserved cobs, 1 cup of water, and 1 teaspoon of salt to the pot. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Remove cobs. Stir in the corn, tomatoes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in basil and lime juice. Let soup cool for 15 minutes before serving.

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