Matt and I have a ton of produce this time of the year. When we open the fridge, all we see are our biodegradable bags full of various vegetables. It gets to a point when we just have to attack a bunch of it at once.
And so, that was my plan for Tuesday night. After CSA pick up, I went home intent to make two soups and tackle some of the vegetables stuffed in the fridge. Plus, we’d just harvested the first of our sweet corn, so corn played a role in both of these soups.
One of the soups, Turkey and Swiss Chard Chili, is a soup I swear by. I’ve shared it with numerous people as a way to get their kids (or spouse) to eat greens, a way to use a good amount of greens in one dish, and also a great soup to make a lot of and then freeze for winter. It’s adapted from a Giada De Laurentiis recipe, and is one of my favorite recipes.
Turkey & Chard Chili
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds ground chicken/turkey
1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon fennel seeds (can be omitted, depending on my mood I include or omit)
1 tablespoon dried oregano (I used thyme last time and was still great)
2 teaspoons chili powder
3 tablespoons flour
2 (15-ounce cans) cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
2 bunches Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
· In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the ground chicken/turkey, 1 teaspoon salt, cumin, fennel seeds, oregano, and chili powder. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken/turkey is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Stir the flour into the chicken/turkey mixture. Add the beans, Swiss chard, corn, and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a simmer, scraping up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer for 55-60 minutes until the liquid has reduced by about half and the chili has thickened. Add the red pepper flakes and simmer for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
· Ladle the chili into serving bowls. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.
The second soup I made started as this recipe. I had prepared an easy corn stock a couple days prior, simply by simmering corn cobs in water for about 45 minutes. Since I had that part done, I figured the rest would be a cinch. But, as I started to make the soup, I could tell rather quickly that I wasn’t going to follow the recipe. It was a lengthy process and since I started the soups around 7:45pm on a week night, I was going to be up until midnight or later if I didn’t switch it up a bit.
What I ended up was a pale yellow, smooth soup with corn and potato flavors and a hint of pepper. I took it a Mexican route by topping it with red onion, tomatoes, cilantro, and tortilla chips (not pictured below). If I’d had any avocado, I would have added that, too.
Corn, Potato, and Pepper Soup
12 cups of corn stock (or vegetable/chicken stock)
6 cups corn
4 cups potatoes, diced (I used red potatoes and Yukon golds…didn’t bother peeling since they are so fresh)
4 tablespoons butter
1 onion, diced
1 Anaheim pepper, diced
1 Poblano pepper, diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
salt & pepper to taste
cilantro, red onion, tomato, and avocado to top
In a large stock pot over medium-high heat, add butter. Once melted, add onions, corn, and peppers. Saute about 6-8 minutes, until onion and peppers are soft. Add garlic and cook for about a minute. Add stock and potatoes and simmer for 30 minutes. Cool the mixture slightly and then puree in a blender. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Local ingredients: onion, garlic, thyme, Swiss chard, sweet corn, red pepper flakes, parsley, potatoes, cilantro, and tomatoes.