20 September 2013

Green Soup, Or What's All This About Yogurt Anyway?

Once upon a time, I talked incessantly about my CSA. We still belong, and I still love it. I love that it challenges us to prepare and cook and eat vegetables that we'd otherwise pass up at the farmers market. I love knowing that our food comes from not too far away, from people who care deeply about their role in making the world a better place. And every year, they try growing things that they'd never grown before. This year, it was tomatillos. And I had no idea what to do with them.

Sure, I could have made a salsa, but something sent me to the cookbooks, and something impelled me to pull Annie Somerville's Fields of Greens off the shelf. And there I found a recipe for the unprepossessing sounding "Green Corn Soup". I had the corn, I had the tomatillos, I had an approximation of most of the other ingredients, and so I set to work.

I suppose I could have fed it to my husband and child, but instead I brought it to work, along with a bunch of cilantro, and a container of plain yogurt, and for three days running I had a glorious, virtuous, delightful soup for lunch. Hot, as a nod to fall, but garnished with fresh cilantro and creamy cold yogurt, because summer's still hanging on, it was just what I needed to be eating.

Speaking of yogurt, what is going on with the yogurt explosion? It used to be that there was yogurt, silky, low fat, not especially dense. You know, just yogurt. And then came the "Greek" yogurts, like Fage (which is now based in Luxembourg) and (moldy yucky Greek-style US made) Chobani. And if you're paying attention, more and more countries are getting into the yogurt game. I've seen Australian yoghurt (note the H spelling) and some Icelandic yogurt ended up in my fridge not long ago. In point of fact, Smari, the "Icelandic" yogurt, is actually made in the United States, from milk from cows from Wisconsin, by bosses in California. Whatev. I like their plain yogurt. It's thick, to be sure, but it stood up to being plopped into a bowl of hot soup. And it has an appealing gaminess about it - it's not a bland, boring yogurt. [I didn't much care for the Smari fruit flavors, but I nearly never buy anything but plain yogurt anyway. You want fruit flavored yogurt? Stir in some jam or a cut up peach.]

Corn and Tomatillo Soup (adapted from Fields of Greens)

1 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 ears of corn, kernels cut off the cobs
3 cups chicken stock
1 pint tomatillos, husked and halved
1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
fresh cilantro leaves (for garnish)
yogurt or sour cream (for garnish)

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and saute until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and corn, and cook until the corn is heated through. Season with salt and pepper, and add 2 cups of chicken stock, cover the pot, and simmer until the corn is tender (about 20 minutes). Add the tomatillos and poblano, and cook until the tomatillos are falling apart tender (5 to 10 minutes). Puree the soup with a blender (a hand blender in the pot would be perfect). Add chicken stock if the soup seems too thin. Adjust seasoning as necessary.

Serve hot, garnished with a handful of fresh cilantro and a blob of yogurt or sour cream.

Makes enough for three lunch sized portions.

Disclosure: The publicist for the Icelandic yogurt had some dropped off at my house. My opinions are my own, and no one paid me to talk yogurt.


S said...

Oh, man. Yum.

Jocelyn said...

Virtuous soup! Ain't nuthin' better.

You're not too far off from making your own yogurt, you know. After we got back from Turkey, Byron despaired over how all U.S. yogurts have pectin in them, which makes them act so very different from what we'd become accustomed to. He did find ONE yogurt without pectin but ultimately decided it was just easier to make his own. So now we have jars and jars in our fridge of thick, nummy stuff.

I see this in your future.

edj3 said...

You know, great minds must think alike -- not about the soup but about the yogurt. I've discovered a new favorite kind and have meant to write about it this week.