Chow Town

Two soups to enjoy now that heat of summer has finally arrived

Updated: 2013-08-27T10:27:09Z

By LOU JANE TEMPLE

I know, I know. Why give you two more recipes for summer soups when summer is almost over?

You have seen recipes for every kind of gazpacho imaginable.

And just as many recipes for corn chowder have been offered from the pages of food magazines, newspapers and blogs.

But do not lose interest in these summer ingredients yet, when the corn is at its sweetest and the tomatoes are the ripest.

Everything was delayed a few weeks this year so the corn and tomatoes are at their absolute peak right now.

And I can guarantee both of these recipes because I make them both and get rave reviews. They both taste like the essence of what they are and where we are — Kansas City, Labor Day around the corner, with the cicadas singing and the farmers markets full of bounty.

Enjoy it now.

Corn Chowder

12 ears of corn

1/2 gallon of Milk

1 stick (4 ounces) of butter

1 onion, peeled and diced

1 or 2 zucchini or summer squash, diced

1 yellow or red bell pepper, or half of both colors, diced

1 jalapeno, quartered, seeded and diced

3 or 4 homegrown tomatoes, preferably both red and yellow

1/2 pound of cream cheese

Salt, to taste

White pepper, to taste

Hot sauce, to taste

Cut all the corn off the cob and divide roughly in half.

Scald the milk in a large stockpot. When the milk is rising up in the pot, throw in half of the corn kernels. Cover and steep at least twenty minutes.

Melt the butter in a large sauté pan. Add the onion and cook slowly until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add squash, peppers and jalapeno. Let cook another 5 minutes.

Add the rest of the corn and cook 5 more minutes. Then add tomatoes and the cream cheese, cut in pieces. Cook, stirring often, until the cream cheese is melted, about 10 more minutes.

Add this mixture to the corn and milk in the stockpot and the season with salt, white pepper and Tabasco or whatever hot sauce you prefer.

I usually make this a day ahead of use so the flavors can marry. Be careful and reheat it slowly so you don’t scorch the bottom of the stockpot. Adjust your seasonings.

Gazpacho

4 to 6 homegrown tomatoes, red or yellow or both

1 small onion peeled and quartered

2 red or yellow bell peppers

1 jalapeno

4 cloves garlic

1/8 cup of cider or sherry vinegar

2 Tablespoons green chili salsa

Juice of 2 lemons

1/4 cup of olive oil

1 cucumber, seeded and chopped roughly

46 ounces of tomato juice

Salt

White pepper

Worcestershire sauce

Tabasco sauce

Pinch of sugar

Put tomatoes, onion, peppers, jalapeno, on a baking sheet with a lip and drizzle with olive oil and kosher salt. Roast at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the garlic to this mix and roast another 12 minutes or so. Remove and cool for 10 or 15 minutes.

In a large bowl combine the roasted vegetables, the vinegar, salsa, lemon juice, olive oil, and the cucumber. Mix in about a third of the tomato juice.

Ladle this in a blender and blend in batches, then combine in a large storage container. Make it as smooth or as chunky as you like it.

Add the rest of the tomato juice and the rest of the seasonings to taste. Chill until cold, about two or three hours depending on the container.

Lou Jane Temple’s road to food has been a long and winding one. First as a rock n roll caterer back stage to the stars, then with her own Kansas City based catering company, Cafe Lulu, food writing, novelist, private chef. Lou Jane has written and had published nine culinary mysteries and one cookbook. She recently moved back to Kansas City and eagerly awaits the next chapter of her food career.

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