TWO GREAT SOUPS USING SUMMER BOUNTIES
Corn and Cucumbers. Both ready for harvest and both are the main ingredients for these two great soups. The hot chowder is great as the main meal with only a salad and crusty bread to complete the feast. And the cold green gazpacho is a an usual combination of ingredients that is much more than the sum of it’s parts. No one has yet guessed the two mystery ingredients to this refreshing soup.
For this soup you will need a really strong blender such as a vita-mix. The quantities are just approximate. This is a “taste and adjust” recipe since there are many factors at play. You will need to let it rest in the fridge for a day and then taste and further adjust the vinegar, salt and olive oil.
2 cups (about a pound) cucumbers (which only need peeling if the peels are thick and only needs seeding if the seeds are big)
1 cup,(about ½ pound) seedless grapes green or red
1 cup raw almonds
1 medium garlic clove or more to taste
1 TBS chopped dill
1 cup water
1 TBS sherry vinegar (or other wine vinegar)
¼ buttery olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Blend together in vita-mix or other very strong blender until totally smooth. Taste and adjust for seasoning and then refrigerate overnight and taste and adjust seasoning before serving. Serve with a swirl of olive oil and a little chopped dill in each bowl.
Thai Corn and Crawfish Chowder
4 ears corn shucked
1 TBS butter
1 large onion, chopped into small cubes
4 cups chicken broth, seafood broth or lobster broth
1 can coconut milk (14 ounce)
1 TBS Thai red curry paste
1 pound cooked crawfish tail meat (comes frozen) or shrimp, crab or lobster
Salt to taste
1. Fry the corn kernels over high heat in a frying pan with no oil and after 3 minutes add butter and when melted continue to cook for another 2 minutes of high heat before setting the corn aside.
2. Fry the onions in olive oil until soft and beginning to caramelize and then set aside
3. Defrost the crawfish and fry over high heat with some butter and olive oil in two batches for 5-6 minutes each and set aside. IF using other seafood skip this step if the seafood is already cooked.
4. Place the shucked corn cobs in the broth and boil together for 20 minutes to infuse the broth with the corn flavor. Then remove the cobs and discard.
5. Mix the red curry with 1 TBS of the coconut milk until thoroughly combined. Then add to broth along with the rest of the coconut milk and bring to simmer. Add the onion, corn and crawfish and bring to simmer again. Simmer for 10 minutes and taste for seasoning.
This chowder can be eaten immediately or refrigerated for the next day. If using lobster or shrimp do not add the seafood until right before serving and then add it to the simmering broth and simmer until warmed through. It is important not to overcook the seafood.