BaltimOregon to Maine

Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

Posts Tagged ‘soups

Oaxacan Chileatole De Elote (Chileatole Of Fresh Corn)

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Diana Kennedy's Oaxacan soup, with sweet corn from Luke Beene's organic Southtown Corvallis urban farm.

For some reason, I thought the local sweet corn season was over. Or that it never really happened, with all the poor weather we’ve had this year. So I was happy to find delicate fresh ears of corn at Luke Beene’s stand at the farmers’ market today. I arrived at closing time (as usual), rushing around in a panic to buy this sweet end-of-season produce (corn and raspberries) before it’s too late.

Had a corn revelation today. Cut the cob into chunks and only then slice off the kernels. That way they don't spray everywhere. Your knife stays closer to the cutting board.

Finding the corn meant I could make Diana Kennedy’s Chileatole De Elote (Chileatole Of Fresh Corn) soup. I knew Mexicans made soups with floating chunks of corn still on the cob, but I’ve hardly tried them. This recipe is from Kennedy’s beautiful-sounding new love letter to Oaxaca cuisine. The recent NPR piece set in her lush vegetable garden and kitchen cast a spell on me. There’s just something about Oaxaca. Of course, it’s the only place in Mexico we’ve been, but we’re not alone in believing the cuisine, with its moles, is among the best in Mexico. That’s where we did the Seasons of My Heart cooking school. And we continue to enjoy Oaxaquena comida here in Corvallis, as a majority of our Mexican immigrant population hails from that state.

Written by baltimoregon

October 7, 2010 at 1:03 am

Delicate Jersusalem Artichoke-Meyer Lemon-Dungeness Crab Soup

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The sunchoke soup, garnished with crab, sourdough breadcrumbs, roasted meyer lemons and chives.

Roasted Meyer Lemon: The Citrus I Still Don't Quite Love.

This sunny, citrusy soup caught my attention in the excellent newsletter (chock full of recipes) the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market organizers in San Fran put out. I had nutty knobs of local Jersusalem artichokes (or sunchokes) in the fridge, I wanted to sneak in some crab once more this season, and I’m always game to give Meyer lemons another chance.

The soup was subtle yet refreshing. The puree didn’t complete with the sweet, mellow crab meat. I still don’t love Meyer lemons (they have some faint mustiness, kind of like kumquats, that’s off-putting). But they caramelized upon roasting, giving the soup a welcome tang. I didn’t quite understand the recipe (was I supposed to strain the cooking water off…I didn’t) but it still came out well. I fitfully added some mustard, capers, tarragon vinegar, white wine, little dribs and drabs of things, to punch up the broth.

We got quite a deal on the one cooked crab Dan shelled for the meat. Gotta love Richey’s Market-we’ll be sad to see it go when/if Market of Choice comes in. $5 a pound seemed like a good deal. Fortunately, it only takes a few times for me to have my crab fill until next season.

Written by baltimoregon

March 2, 2010 at 2:02 am

Nip-Nip Soup (Parsnip-Turnip)

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Everyone Hates Turnips/By h-bomb/Flickr Creative Commons

Curiously sweet parsnips/By Garelvirat/Flickr Creative Commons



Nip-Nip Soup

Returning to the damp Northwest makes one crave soup. Or perhaps it is the memory of the unbearably cold temperatures we experienced in Atlanta. Whatever the reason, I first tasted this perfect winter “Nip-Nip Soup” my mother-in-law made during our visit to Charlottesville and couldn’t wait to recreate it. It’s a deceptively simple recipe and though its bland applesauce-like texture and color isn’t much to look at, quite flavorful with the creamy meld of sweet, almost cinnamon-y parsnips and the mellowed radish/cabbage taste of the cooked turnips. You don’t even need a formal recipe. Just sautee onion in butter or olive oil, add equal parts peeled, chopped parsnips and turnips, some wine (I used dry Marsala), cover and steam, puree when vegetables are soft, add broth and blend until soup reaches desired consistency. Stir in some cream to make it extra velvety. Spice according to your taste. The soup did beg for a garnish. Brightly colored Terra Chips lying around did the job. The batch I made out here I plan to dress up with frizzled leeks. But no need to be fancy.

I’m sorry to say I don’t know the origin of the recipe, though I suspect it is French. Aunt Amy, who served up the soup to much acclaim years ago, can’t remember where she found it. I didn’t find many similar recipes online. A Massachusetts gourmet store called Russo’s listed a nice one that called for rutabaga (yellow turnip) instead of the standard white with purple blush variety. In ATL, we had a lovely rutabaga and green onion soup at new locavore restaurant Miller Union. Spiced with nutmeg, it made my brother-in-law think of eggnog, or was it pumpkin pie? Russo’s flavors its soup with thyme, marjoram and a garnish of parsley.

Beyond soups, I found this dynamic pairing in “Sauteed turnips and parsnips with rosemary” and “Parsnip Turnip Mash.” Of course, without the broth, the soup’s just a mash or puree. Here’s the recipe:

Nip Nip Soup

3/4 stick unsalted butter (I recommend using less/substituting with part olive oil)
1 lg. onion chopped
1 lb. parsnips, peeled and chopped
1 lb. turnips (or rutabagas) peeled and chopped
1/2 cup dry sherry (or other wine)
4 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper

1) Melt butter and saute onion
2) Add parsnips and turnips
3) Add sherry and reduce heat to low. Cover with lid.
4) Steam vegetables until tender. Add up to 1 cup of stock by tablespoons if vegs become too dry, about 45 min.
5) Puree vegetables with remaining stock in batches, in processor or with hand blender until smooth.
6) Season with salt and pepper. [Garnish with chives, almonds and fried leeks.]

Written by baltimoregon

January 8, 2010 at 1:27 am

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