Corn Soup and Scenes from late summer
I love summer as much as the next Leo, but can anything beat the back-to-school feel of early September? You still have all the best things about summer- sunshine, perfectly ripe veggies and fruit, a tan- but the focus subtly shifts from decadence and laziness to a feeling of getting down to business. I'm not in school anymore, but I still love to re-arrange my closet, sharpen my pencils, and get to work.
But even so, here in Budapest the last few weeks have had all of the pleasures of late summer- perfect bike riding weather, all the amazing peaches, plums, and sweet corn you can eat, and even a quick day trip to Tokaj, Hungary's volcanic wine region. (As you can see from the photos above, its pretty gorgeous, and full of cute dogs.) But now, with the days already getting shorter I'm ready to get on my grind. And for me, that also means actually cooking, instead of, say, rubbing garlic and tomatoes on crusty bread for dinner every night. (Not that this isn't a lovely meal.)
Last night I decided to cook all the leftover bounty into a nice hot soup (that's right Hungarians, none of this cold creamed frout soup bullshit, I'm an American!) with plenty of late summer's greatest hits. Wilted peppers, sweet corn and their cobs, with just tomatoes and potatoes for a little umami and heft. It was deeply satisfying, and actually easy enough that you could probably figure it out yourselves, but I'll give you just a run down of how I made it below and you can adjust it to what's left in your kitchen if you so desire.
End of Summer Corn Soup
1. Make the stock- remove the kernels of corn from 2-3 cobs of corn and set aside. Fill a stock pot 3/4's full with water, and add in: the leftover cobs, 1 onion cut in half, 2-3 smashed garlic cloves, a buillon cube, salt, and several whole peppercorns (a dried chili wouldn't be out of place either, just be sure to fish it out later). Let it boil down for an hour or so.
2. Next add in a good glop of olive oil and any chopped up veggies and beans that you have laying around- diced red peppers, diced boiling potatoes, peas, cranberry beans, greens, the corn, ect.
Serve with salt and pepper and crusty bread, and baby, you got a soup on!
Yes, I'm fully intent on squeezing the last bit of summer into my Fall, and also getting every last minute of enjoyment out of Budapest. In a few weeks I will head to Belgrade, Serbia for a conference, and then back to Germany... and who knows where the wind will take me next?
Song of the Day: Squeeze- Tempted