My favorite thing about Gazpacho soup is you can really put whatever vegetables you want and blend it up. A trip to the garden or farmers market and pick up the ingredients. I use this recipe as a rough guide for my chopping and blending. I always add a jalopeno or some hot pepper into the blend. And usually whatever tomato juice, V8 or bloody mary mix I have in the refrigerator. Of course the garnish is also fun, be as creative as you want. Best served cold.
It has been a beautiful fall season this year. Inspired by the golden canvas as I scoot down the river road. The cooler weather makes me think of soup, I found this bag of 12 bean variety of dried beans that blended with the color palette out my window. As usual I find a few recipes and improvise with what sounds tasty. I soaked the beans overnight and then cooked the beans for an hour with some water bay leaves and the bones from the ham-hock. There was not much water left in the pot when I was done cooking the beans. So I added a can of chicken stock. I then followed the Cuban black bean stew recipe in my new cookbook: The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift.
- Trim the meat away from the ham-hock bone, cutting it into small pieces. Don’t be too fussy; leaving some on the bone is fine. Film the bottom of a 10-quart stockpot with olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Stir in the meat, bone, cloves, onions, bell peppers, garlic, jalapeno and salt. Sauté for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the vegetables are sizzling and there’s a brown glaze on the bottom of the pan (the vegetables need not brown, and take care not to let that glaze blacken).
- Add a little of the broth along with the garlic, bay leaves, cumin, oregano, black pepper, and tomato paste. With a wooden spatula, scrape up the glaze as you simmer the mix on medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Then add the beans, carrots, celery,can of tomatoes, fresh herbs and the remaining broth. Adjust the heat so the soup bubbles gently. Cover the pot tightly, and cook for 20 minutes.
- Stir in the juice from 2½ limes or ⅓ cup of the vinegar. Taste the soup for seasoning. Adjust the salt, pepper, and lime juice or vinegar to taste.
- Ladle the soup into bowls, topping each serving with a heaping tablespoon of chopped onion and a little fresh cilantro. Have the hot sauce on the table.
When I first started my job at the new photo studio, it meant I was going to become another car commuting to work every morning. Not only was I driving from the city to head north to the suburbs. But as I would let everyone know: the studio was across the street from a corn field. It was just all wrong. Well, as I was soon to discover the “corn field” had the best sweet corn in town. Now I wait all season for that first bite of sweet corn, seems to make that daily commute somehow worth it.It was a sad day when I bought the last dozen corn of the season. So I made this delicious corn chowder over the weekend. The corn has also become a favorite for my cat Belli. Now she demands her own piece of corn to gnaw on.
Poblano Chicken Corn Chowder
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 tablespoons margarine
- 2 fresh poblano chile pepper, seeded and diced
- 2 diced jalapeno
- 1 quart half-and-half cream
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 1 pinch ground dried chile de arbol
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup margarine
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 (15 ounce) can chicken stock
- 4 cobs of whole kernel corn
- 1/2 pound chicken cooked and diced
- salt to taste
- white sugar to taste
- In a blender or food processor, puree the onion and celery; drain.
- Melt 2 tablespoons margarine in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and celery puree and the poblano chile pepper. Stirring constantly, cook about 5 minutes, until tender. Mix in chicken stock, half-and-half cream, sugar, and jalapeno. Season with turmeric,chile de arbol and black pepper. Stirring often, bring to a gentle boil.
- Melt 1/2 cup margarine in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Mix in the flour, and stir constantly until thickened. Remove from heat, and gradually mix into the large saucepan. Cook and stir until the mixture is well blended and thickened.
- Mix chicken stock, whole kernel corn into the large saucepan mixture. Stir in the chicken, and cook 2 minutes, or until opaque. Season with salt and sugar.
- Garnish with sour cream and cilantro