Monday, December 21, 2009

Soup's On!

On Tuesday, I was beginning to feel a touch under the weather. By Thursday, I felt awful, sitting in meetings for the majority of the day with nearly full-blown symptoms of a cold, frequently scurrying to the bathroom from guzzling water, cranberry juice, and jasmine earl grey green tea throughout the day. Saturday came quickly as I slept through most of Friday.

Bug made a scrumptious batch of potato-asparagus-corn chowder while he was still well on Saturday.

Potato Asparagus Corn Chowder
Chowdah with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper

1 lb bacon
5 lb russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2/3 lb asparagus, chopped (1-2" long)
2-3 c corn
5 c whole milk

1. Prepare several layers of paper napkins on a plate to absorb grease from cooked bacon.
2. Fry bacon. Lay cooked bacon strips flat on paper napkins and set ~1/4 c bacon grease aside.
2. Place potatoes in a soup pot, then add enough water so it is level with the potatoes.
3. When the water boils, reduce to a simmer until potatoes are cooked, then remove from heat.
4. Meanwhile, blanch asparagus. Set aside.
5. Separate 1/4 of the cooked potatoes and 1-2 c of liquid from the soup pot. Transfer to blender and puree.
6. Pour potato puree in to soup pot with the remaining cooked potatoes. Return soup to simmer.
7. Add corn, asparagus, and milk to soup pot. Stir.
8. Add bacon grease (1/4 c). Salt and pepper to taste.
9. Simmer until soup is at desired temperature, few minutes.
10. Ladle soup in bowls and add several pieces of bacon to each bowl.

Garnish with cheese, croutons, or whatever you prefer. I prefer extra black pepper and cayenne pepper.

The sweet, plump, and crisp corn brightened the soup. Of course, the bacon added a crunch, as well as a smoked meaty flavor. We enjoyed it so much, the pot of soup lasted just 1 day between the two of us.

If pfeffernüsse, a nutty, spiced cookie, were available all year, it would be one of our top guilty pleasures. We prefer Bahlsen, but Trader Joe's seemingly drier version was the only one available this year. As much as we adore pfeffernüsse, we have never attempted to make them ourselves. Their scarcity is a good thing!

Pfeffernuesse Ice Cream
Pfeffernüsse with some ice cream

I don't recall which grocery store we walked in to a week ago, but they had Edy's ice cream on sale so we were suckers took advantage of the reduced price and picked up orange sherbet, caramel cone crunch, spumoni, and French vanilla. The ice cream tends to be a little fluffy, but for the price, they are good.

- Cassaendra

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