Sunday, September 28, 2008

soaking up September

September's rolling out in a cloak of fog and drizzle, little yellow leaves trailing behind - bright red, orange and brown soon to follow. To my mind this is great hiking weather. So this past weekend we stretched our legs on a few mountain trails - climbing and trekking and resting on rocks jutting out into a foggy abyss. I love this weather for wandering.

I also love this weather for soup (Well, I love any weather for soup, but fog and drizzle and cool autumn air gives me a great excuse)...

Or chowder, as the case may be. This recipe for Corn and Potato Chowder is a favorite. As far as soups go, I don't usually follow a recipe preferring instead to raid the pantry and fridge for some sort of spontaneous combination. However, I actually crave this particular chowder now and again, and lucky for me, it's super simple, very quick, and I almost always have the ingredients on hand. This one is a keeper.

Corn and Potato Chowder
(adapted from a recipe originally published in the January 2006 issue of Cooking Light magazine)


2 Tb. Olive oil
1 Large green bell pepper chopped
4 Scallions (green onions) chopped, plus more for serving
1 - 10 oz. Bag of frozen white sweet corn (yellow would be fine also)
1 1/4 Cups water
2 tsp. Seafood seasoning*
1 Tb. chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/8 tsp. Ground cayenne pepper (if desired)
4 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 Cup Half-and-Half
1 small handful chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. salt

Heat olive oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the green peppers and scallions and cook, stirring often, about 5 minutes or until softened and beginning to brown. Add the corn, water, seafood seasoning, thyme, cayenne, and potatoes and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes or so until potatoes are cooked through.

In the meantime, sit back and have a seasonal brew with a buddy:

Mmmmmmmmmmmm. Punkin Ale.

When potatoes are tender, add the half-and-half, parsley and salt. Stir to incorporate, remove from heat, and serve garnished with chopped scallions.

*Use the seafood seasoning of your choice (Old Bay if you're a Marylander...) Personally, I tend to switch back and forth, one day using Old Bay and another using McCormick's Seafood Seasoning. This particular batch was made with the latter. Generally speaking the seafood seasonings I've come across all contain a combination of some or all of the following: celery seed, mustard seed, red pepper, lemon, salt, garlic, onion, bay, paprika, cloves, allspice, ginger, mace, cardamom, and even cinnamon.


Dragonfly Close said...

Oh soup! I was actually taking some pics this weekend of MY soup making and my camera broke. I never even used to use the thing much, and NOW it chooses to break. We are deciding if we should get it fixed or buy a new one. Your soup looks yummy, and you even have a recipe. Nice job!

jilli said...

Mmm.. lovely. I like the scallion shot. The soup looks really, really good!