Monday, September 14, 2009

Salt and Pepper Soup

Here in northern California, we usually don't see rain from late March to late October. Brides can confidently plan garden weddings and barbecues are safe from washouts. I forget the actual count, but the San Francisco Giants can count on two hands the total number of rained out home games since they moved here from New York in the 1950s. So, why am I talking about hot soup in what should rightly be our sunniest, hottest month? Well, go figure - we've had rain for the past two days.

Low pressure weather systems tend to mellow me out. I get sleepy and want to snuggle back under the covers in the morning. My afternoon naps lengthen. Energy being low, I also look for easy dinners. Rooting around in the lowest drawer of my freezer, I discovered some butternut squash soup that I squirreled away back when the rains stopped sometime in March.

It seemed a little dull all by itself, although it was layered with the flavor of leeks and corned beef stock, so I decided to add a couple of ears of fresh corn to it and, in a moment of inspired creativity, the rest of a package of spicy salami that had languished in the fridge since the pizza party last weekend. I cut the corn from the cob and made little triangles out of the salami circles and dropped both into the soup for the last five minutes of heating, ladled it into bowls and rang the dinner bell.

The corn added sweetness and a light crunch, the salami contributed both salt and peppery liveliness, plus just a little richness from the fat in the meat. My Beloved finished his bowl in a single inhale, then looked to see if there was more in the pot. There was. Almost enough to make us NOCAs look forward the rains.

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