Sunday, November 4, 2007

A Day That Longs for Soup

Finally, autumn seems to have arrived in the Northeast. The air is cold and crisp, the zinnias which were in their glory last week are now withered by frost, and the lawn is blanketed with fallen leaves.

There is nothing that speaks of autumn more than a pot of hearty soup simmering on the stove. I love everything about soup -- the chopping and sauteeing that begin the process, the hours of watching its slow simmer and enjoying the delicious aroma throughout the house, setting the table with my lovely soup tureen and matching bowls, and finally ladling it into bowls and savoring the delicious taste .

Following is one of my favorite simple soup recipes for a November evening:

Bacon Corn Chowder

Cook 1 lb. of bacon in large soup pot; set aside on plate to drain. Pour off excess fat, leaving just enough to saute two chopped onions. Add one bag of frozen corn and ten large potatoes, diced. Sprinkle in 3 teaspoons fresh thyme and 2 teaspoons fresh marjoram. Add 1-1/2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon ground pepper.

Add one 48-ounce can of chicken broth and 9 cups of water. Bring to boil and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until potatoes are tender.

Mix 1/3 cup cornstarch with 1/2 cup water and add to pot, stirring constantly until broth is thickened. (More may be added to reach desired consistency).

Crumble bacon and add to pot; stir in 1 cup of heavy cream and simmer gently for five minutes. Sprinkle 3 teaspoons of fresh chopped chives into pot and stir.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh chives and thyme.

Serve with a crusty loaf of bread and you have a heartwarming meal!!

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