Soup and sweater weather…
There simply isn’t any weather I like better than those first days of fall -REAL FALL- where the skies are gunmetal grey and leaves are just starting to turn. It’s a mighty wind, and it’s brisk, and it wants to blow right through you. It makes you understand why those leaves finally give up and flutter around. We, thankfully, have sweaters and comfy socks.
First, you may have been around here long enough to know I’m a huge fan of movies. My most favourite movies are usually absurd comedies. Squarely in that category falls the movie ‘Best In Show’ by Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy. It’s a mockumentary where a bizarre group of characters competes to win a national dog show. The entire movie is weird, wonderful and hysterical from start to finish, but there is one exchange that has always stuck with my husband and I.
Jennifer Coolidge’s gold-digging, much younger trophy wife character, Sherri Ann Cabot, is talking about how very in love she is with her MUCH older, senile, immobile, uncommunicative, wealthy husband.
“We have so much in common, we both love soup and snow peas, we love the outdoors, and talking and not talking. We could not talk or talk forever and still find things to not talk about.”
In short, since seeing that movie, my husband and I quote that one passage every. single. time. we have soup. Given that we also love soup, that quote gets pretty solid play in our house. And I’ll tell you this, unlike Leslie Ward Cabot, it hasn’t gotten old yet.
Let’s make like Sherri Ann and Leslie and talk about soup for a moment, shall we?
This chowder is not for the low-fat crowd. Not only does it use bacon -and a lot of it!-, not only does it have butter, not only does it have cream cheese, but it has all three in abundance. Glory hallelujah! Don’t spend your days waiting for Guffman, it’s time to bust out the comfort food.
While you can certainly make this chowder with a store-bought chicken or vegetable stock, it really sings up a storm when made with the simplest stock you can ever make; Corn Stock. If you’ve been with me long enough to know I’m a movie nut, you’ll also know that I’m firmly in the waste not/want not camp as well. Corn Stock is what I like to call a three-fer.
- You prepare the corn the way you normally would (I vastly prefer roasting it because it’s easier to do large amounts than boiling.) Cut the corn from the cob and freeze it or use it immediately.
- Boil the cobs for stock.
- Give the boiled cobs to the chickens who will get whatever is left that is edible and use it as energy to make eggs.
If that isn’t a frugal gal’s dream, I don’t know what is. Most importantly, though, the corn stock gives your chowder something that no other stock can. It gives it an essence of summer sweet corn that simply is not available in any other way mid-autumn or winter. If that doesn’t send a shiver of anticipation up your spine (unlike a spinal tap), then you’ve never lived in the snow belt.
Just imagine a bowl of rich chowder resplendent with roasted corn (that which you cut from the cob and froze, you frugal cook you!), cubes of potato with a hint of red skin still on, and hints of orange carrot in a fragrant broth that smells just like fresh sweet corn and is made thicker and velvety with the addition of cream cheese. Does that warm you up yet?
Don’t just talk about it: slurp that soup like Leslie!