Sunday, April 19, 2009

Harvest Soup

Originally sent September 28, 2009

Hey all!

It has been at least a year since my previous send, but I've decided to try the group mailing thing again. Since I'm terrible about filling people in on the daily operations out here in LA via email, I'm going to utilize this communication medium for something completely different - FOOD! Well, I guess it isn't completely different since I'm always eating, and subsequently always cooking. Every month, I come up with a small handful of new recipes. Some are way good and others are rather...not. I will reserve the latter for myself and share the former with the rest of you in hopes that you will enjoy them as well. I will provide the recipes in a couple different forms: the first will be in standard text format in the body of this email, and the second will be a more printer-friendly PDF version as an attachment. If anyone has any questions/comments/suggestions for any of these recipes, I would love to hear them. So go ahead, print them out, change things up a bit and let me know how it goes!

I came up with this recipe less than 24 hours ago. It was my dinner last night and my breakfast this morning. I thought it would be fitting to release this now since the main ingredients are very seasonal, harvest-time vegetables. It's easy out here in California to find these veggies fresh at farmers' markets and grocery stores, but I'm sure they are still available out east for those of you who are actually experiencing a change in the seasons (lucky...). So, here we go, this first recipe I've titled simply as "Harvest Soup".

This is a hearty, sweet vegetable soup. If you find it too sweet for your liking, add some cayenne powder or a pinch of salt – these will help to soften the overpowering sweetness. On the contrary, if you find that your veggies aren't sweet enough, add some brown sugar.
  • Red bell peppers
  • Onions, chopped
  • Carrots, chopped
  • Garlic, chopped
  • Sweet corn kernels, divided
  • Summer squash ( zucchini, pattypan/scallop, etc.), chopped and divided
  • Heirloom tomatoes, divided
  • Coriander seeds
  • Mustard seeds
  • Cumin seeds
  • Turmeric
  • Black peppercorns
  • Fresh basil, chiffonade and divided
  • Fresh chili peppers, finely chopped
  • Yogurt, plain or Greek style
  • Lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to broil
  2. Place whole red peppers on a baking sheet on the highest rack in the oven
  3. Rotate peppers every 5-7 minutes (or when they blacken) until pepper is very tender
  4. Remove peppers from oven
  5. In a large, heated stockpot, drizzle enough extra virgin olive oil to just cover the bottom
  6. Add onions, carrots and garlic to hot oil, stirring occasionally until onions are translucent and carrots are just tender
  7. Add corn and squash to the pot, reserving a small handful of both ingredients to be added at the end
  8. Cover pot, stirring occasionally until squash softens
  9. Add tomatoes and just enough water to cover vegetables in 1 inch of water
  10. Grind coriander, mustard and cumin seeds with turmeric and black peppercorns into a powder
  11. Add spice powder to pot and stir thoroughly
  12. Meanwhile, sauté reserved corn and squash in a separate pan
  13. When squash begins to brown, add reserved basil and chili peppers, mixing thoroughly
  14. Remove stockpot from heat
  15. Using a hand mixer (or blender), blend the stockpot ingredients into a paste and return to the stockpot (if using a blender)
  16. Add sautéed vegetables to blended soup for texture
  17. Add enough yogurt to achieve desired creaminess
  18. Add lemon juice, to taste

I hope you enjoy this soup! Look for to the next installment of Doof Backwards! in a few weeks. I have plenty of recipes on backlog so this could be a monthly or bi-monthly thing for a while. If there is anyone out there on this list who doesn't enjoy food (or the cooking part of it) as much as I do, just let me know and I'll remove you from the list.

Peas out!

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