Sunday, August 31, 2014

Summer Corn Soup


3 Ears  Corn
1 Yellow Onion, Diced
2 Zucchini, Diced
48 Oz Chicken Broth
1 oz Fresh Cilantro, Minced
1 Teaspoon Garlic Salt
1 Teaspoon Herbs de Province
1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
1 Dash White Pepper
1 Tablespoon Light Olive Oil

Late summer and early autumn brings about one of my favorite times, corn harvest.  Though often considered quite common, corn, or more appropriately, maize, is one of the great culinary contributions of this continent.  I like noting better than to roast it in the husk and eat it slathered with plenty of real butter.  But corn can contribute to quite a few other culinary capers, including this a-maize-ingly simple yet a-maize-ingly tasty soup.

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot and add the onion. Saute for 5-10 minutes until it begins to clear.

Meanwhile, tend to your corn.  Try to get the freshest corn you can find, preferably from a Farmer's Market or similar.  Corn is at its best right off the stalk, and it will lose its sweetness the longer it has been since it was picked.   The best corn I ever had was from a farmer selling it from the back of his pickup truck on a little road in Tennessee.  You could eat that corn raw it was so sweet.  Probably less than an hour or two since it was on the stalk.

Anyhoo, cut the corn kernels from the cob with a good sharp knife.  I usually do this by placing one end of the cob in a bowl and holding the other, then I run a knife down the side of the cob, taking off a couple rows of kernels, which fall into the bowl.

Make sure to cut in deep with the knife so you get as much of the corn kernels off as possible.

After the onion has finished sauteing, add the corn to the pot and allow to cook for a minute or two.

During this time you can add your garlic salt, herbs de province and thyme.

Next, add your chicken broth and bring to a soft boil, then reduce to a simmer.

Cook for 10-12 minutes, enough time to soften and cook the corn.

While this is going on, dice up your zucchini into half inch cubes.

After corn has simmered in the chicken broth for 10-12 minutes, add your zucchini to the pot.  Cook for an additional five minutes, but no more.  Any more time and the zucchini will become mushy.

After the five minutes, turn off the heat and add the minced cilantro.

Allow it to steep for a few minutes, then your soup is ready to serve.

Until next time,

Soup's On!


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Minestrone Soup


3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 Oz Salt Pork, Diced
3 Stalks Celery,  Chopped
3 Carrots, Chopped
1 Onion, Diced
1 Zucchini, Chopped
8 Oz Green Beans, Cut
3 Garlic Cloves, Crushed
28 Oz Chopped Tomatoes
8 Oz Tomato Sauce
48 Oz Chicken Broth
14 Oz Cannellini Beans
14 Oz  Kidney Beans
14 Oz Diced New Potatoes
1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
1/4 Cup Pasta (Stellini)
Parmesan Cheese

Last year we declared August ‘soup month’ here at An Eat’n Man, so I figured, here it is August again, so why not some more soup recipes?

To start off this month with a bang, here’s one of my all time favorite soups, Minestrone.  I first discovered this soup as a kid…yes, in a Campbell’s Soup can.  That was decent enough to pique my interest back then, and inspire in me mild dreams of an indolent, 1950s Italy where Dean Martin songs perpetually play, and iron cauldrons of hearty minestrone soups simmer away, ready to greet friends and travelers alike. 

I got closer to realizing that dream when I started making my own minestrone.  Here I was able to tweak things and adjust this or that to get the soup just like I like it.  If you’ve ever make it yourself, you’ve probably discovered that there are about as many minestrone recipes out there as there are stelline in the skies over Planet Pasta.  Well, nothing wrong with that.  Minestrone has always been a common person’s soup, something kept on the hob to feed the family throughout the day, or when extra guests arrived.  It was always made with whatever was in season or at hand.  For this reason, I go with a mix of fresh and canned veggies, but feel free to use all fresh if you like.  (or all canned)  Just give everything a long simmer and you’ll come out all right. 

Minestrone Soup

Heat Olive Oil in Large Soup Pot.  Dice the Salt Pork:

Yes, it looks a lot like bacon, but it packs a lot more of a salty punch, so use with caution.

Simmer the Salt Pork for a few minutes until it begins to brown.  (You could substitute pancetta for the salt pork if you like)  Add the diced onions and cook until translucent.  Add the garlic and simmer a couple minutes more.  Add the Celery and Carrots and simmer for a few minutes more.

Dice and cut your Zucchini and Green Beans 

Add and allow to soften for a few minutes. 

Add the Chopped Tomatoes and Tomato Sauce.  

Simmer for a minute and then add the Chicken Broth.  

Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Cook for twenty minutes or so until the veggies have softened properly. 

Drain the Cannellini and Kidney Beans and add them to the pot, along with the New Potatoes.  Add the Herbs and the dried Stellini Pasta.  Allow the soup to simmer for another 20 minutes or so, then taste.  Add Salt and Pepper as necessary to taste. (Taste before you add any salt, the Salt Pork will have contributed a good bit)

Serve hot, topped with a bit of freshly grated Parmesan and perhaps a piece of crusty Italian bread on the side. 

Until Next Time,

Buon Appetito!