I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Influence Central for Hood Cream. I received product samples as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
Winter is never, ever coming, and nothing I can do here will coax its existence. No puffer coats, Bean boots, or large, fluffy dogs will compel it beyond 65 and sunny here. I’ve grown content with simulating the chilly snap of mid-November in what I now know as late holiday August by blasting my air conditioner, opening the fridge and making soup in a wool robe. Remember my awesome Hood dinner? And the ensuing e-cookbook? Well, here’s where that soup recipe comes from. The first of my winter soup-a-thon dives into the creamy and dreamy with sherry-spiked corn chowder. The base features sweet corn, caramelized shallots, a little Hood cream, and chives, and I made it my own with some bell peppers and some crispy rendered bacon.The recipe- and hell, the cookbook itself, is an awfully versatile one. As I’ve touted before, the base lends itself to a number of reliable ingredients that allow for easy modification while retaining a solid structure. In this case, the corn soup is given a more rustic, wintry touch with some literal meat on its bones. By caramelizing the shallots in bacon fat as well, it also eliminates the need for an extra pan, which I forgot completely. Fresh corn off the cob adds an additional layer of creaminess from the liquid retained in the cob- running the dull edge of a knife over the cub after cutting the kernels off is a common trick to getting the liquid out, although this is unabashedly canned because late night soup, yo.The soup does the work for you after that- I give it a two-hour simmer with chicken stock and a touch of Hood heavy cream and fresh sage at the end, garnished with fresh lime, cotija, and paprika. The base is mild enough to use as a canvas for customized flavors- acidic and rich for a Latin profile, sweeter, dark components- maybe sesame oil and pickled plum, for Asian flair. If you’re looking for an even easier way to make the recipe, substitute fresh corn for canned and fresh bacon for microwaved or even leftover ham. Any protein would work here- it’s a hearty, minimal soup with elements of the season in each bite. You can make this recipe and others like it in the Hood e-Cookbook, available for free online so you, too, can #CookWithHood. Let’s hope winter comes soon.