The Tale of Despereaux by Kate Dicamillo is one of the best middle grade novels out there. It is a story of a brave little mouse, a princess names Pea, an evil rat, a spool of thread, and soup. In this fabulous story, the soup starts as a villian, because you see dear reader, a rat fell into the soup, giving the Queen and great shock and she died, thus sending the kingdom into despair and causing soup to be outlawed. Harsh, but so much fun. I beg you, read this story if you are a lover of fine books.
Kate Dicamillo wrote this fabulous quote about soup.
“There ain’t a body, be it mouse or man, that ain’t made better by a little soup.”
It’s true, all through time people ate soup. It bubbled over an open fire. It hid nasty rotten meat smells in its rich goodness. It sustained the hungry traveller knocking on the backdoor at dusk. Soup is good. Soup is very good.
I give you Chedder Corn Chowder. One of the best things you can do for yourself this fall. It’s surpisingly light and flavorful, yet packed with cruncky fresh corn, local potatoes, and a yummy creamy broth.
You all know that I love the Barefoot Contessa. I used to use her recipe and now I just wing it. So, please, if you’d like check her out: http://www.barefootcontessa.com/ or http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/cheddar-corn-chowder-recipe/index.html In all fairness, I make a much smaller portion, maybe about and use whatever I have on hand.
Chedder Corn Chowder
Buy a bunch of corn, cut it, blanch it, cool it, stick it in a bowl for later
Fry up some chopped bacon, set aside
Saute’fresh onions until limp in bacon fat , add another hunk of butter and a hit of flour (3 or 4 tablespoons plus salt and pepper to taste) cook for a couple minutes until dry
Add chicken stock and cut up potatoes
Bring to a boil, then simmer until done
Add corn to the soup, some cream, and a bunch of good chedder
Season again and douse with bacon and parsley
Now, you might notice that I don’t have exact measurements here. Let me tell you why, it’s too much fun to stand at the stove with this:
My favorite seasonal beer- http://www.gearybrewing.com/. (I could really sell this stuff when I was a waitress!), and play around with flavors. You see soup is forgiving.
Light a candle, make some bread, arrange some flowers and you have dinner.
“A soup like this is not the work of one man. It is the result of a constantly refined tradition. There are nearly a thousand years of history in this soup.”
Willa Cather, ‘Death Comes for the Archbishop’ (1927)