It’s been a while since I’ve posted a Saturday Soup recipe. The summer has passed in a blur of work, travel and dinners with friends. Glasses of wine on the front porch. Hurrying home to make it to the farmers market after my shoots. Hurrying to make it anywhere after one of my shoots. Seeing friends move away. Seeing friends move closer. As many tomato salads and suppers from the grill as we could muster. It’s gone by so fast…and now…it’s almost officially autumn.
On one of those trips to the farmers market, I commented to one of the regular vendors – as I glanced at the butternut squash sitting alongside the cherry tomato stragglers of the season – that I wasn’t ready for the change of the seasons yet. I’m ready for some cooler days and a the occasional sweater at night but I’m not ready to be looking at September. By now, the end of September. I’m not ready to face not seeing the rainbow of produce spread out on tables. The inevitable end of the market at the end of my street. The piles of leaves in the back yard waiting to be raked. I’m not ready for the end. Just like I wasn’t ready for the end of having my mom with me – five years ago on September 20th. It was a tough change of season then – and it still is – for all sorts of reasons.
There won’t be any flowery, dramatic post on Tuesday to commemorate her passing. I’ll be sharing my recent trip to Portland throughout the week – there was so much wonderfulness there, I can’t fit it into just one post. She was there with me – I took a photo of something that was so clearly her patting me on my back and moving me forward, it was startling. I’ll be working on a really creative and wonderful shoot next week with a great crew of folks. Goofing off and laughing on set with Abby. Seeing yet another new city on the map. Doing all the things she empowered me to be able to do. The things she’s been encouraging me to do – in her own way - since that fateful day. Coming home to a wonderful family in a wonderful house and sharing stories of the places we’ve been just in the past two weeks alone. Moments captured in photos and in our mind that, by sharing them with you and the people I love, I’m sharing them with her, too.
This week’s soup is about capturing something fleeting and sharing it, as well. For some of you, corn is still available at your local market or farm stand. I made this soup a few weeks ago with fresh corn and it blew my mind. It’s so simple and easily adapted for all sorts of dietary concerns. It’s vegan and can be served hot or cold. I’ve been eating it just warmed through with a drizzle of truffle oil and a sprinkle of truffle salt. If you’d rather savor the sweetness without the earthiness of the truffle, snip some chives on the soup and devour it. Scatter on some raw corn kernels you’ve set aside for some crunch and texture. For those of you for whom fresh corn season has passed, fear not. Good quality frozen corn works just as well – I’ve made batches both ways and they’re equally tasty. The important part is making it and sharing and holding on to the taste of summer – in a bowl.
Sweet Corn Soup with Truffle Salt (and a tiny bit of Truffle Oil) – serves 4 as a starter course or light soup meal
- In a large heavy bottomed soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add in the minced shallot and saute until translucent but not brown – 3 to 4 minutes. Combine the corn kernels and mix thoroughly with the shallots. Pour in the veggie stock until just covered – you can add a little water if you need a touch more liquid to cover. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium. Cook for 20 minutes until the corn kernels are heated through and tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. In a high powered blender (the Vitamix rocks it here), puree the soup in batches on the highest speed possible. You’re looking to make this smooth and a little airy – almost a velouté but there’s no cream here. If your blender doesn’t break up the fiber from the kernels, you can strain this to remove any chunky bits. You can serve this soup cold or reheat until warmed through. Ladle into soup bowls and top with a drizzle of truffle oil, a sprinkle of truffle salt or both.