Monday, August 9, 2010

I'm Over Summer....Bring On Fall (And a recipe for Shrimp & Corn Chowder)

I'm officially over summer. Yes, I realize that I live in Texas and we still have a good 2 months of heat left, but I'm still over it.

For as long as I can remember, Summer has always been my favorite season. What's not to love about no school, spending time at the pool or lake, taking vacations and (most importantly) my birthday?!

However, as I've gotten older summer has dropped a few spots on my list of favorite seasons. I'm not a teacher, so there are no summer breaks. My job requires that I be at most of the Astros game, so there's not much time for a vacation from April to September. It's hotter than Hades. And to be completely honest, I think I'm done having birthdays. Twenty-nine is old enough. Don't you agree?

Fall now reins as king on my favorite seasons list. Why? Cooler weather & the end of swim suit season. Aggie Football and tailgating with friends. Pumpkins & Apples (and all the tasty dishes that can be made with them). A change in wardrobe from shorts, tank tops & flip flops to cute sweaters & blue jeans with boots. And this 5th Anniversary!

The other thing I love about Fall is that I can finally make soup again. I LOVE making soup, but during the summer it's just so darn hot that no one wants to eat it. I ran across this recipe for Shrimp & Corn Chowder in the Rachel Ray Magazine last month & it has been calling my name ever since. So, despite the 105 degree weather we had yesterday, I went ahead & made the soup anyway. Our friends M&E were coming over to help us kick off football season by watching the Cowboys pre-season game, so I figured we could just pretend it was cooler outside & enjoy some hot soup.

As usual, I changed the recipe up just a tiny bit. Rachel's original recipe called for cooking the soup outside on the grill. thank you. It's hot enough without standing over a 400 degree fire pit. I made it inside on the stove top & it turned out just fine.


* 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 3 cloves garlic, crushed
* 1 pound medium shrimp—peeled, deveined, tails reserved separately
* 2 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise and chopped crosswise
* 1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
* 1/2 medium onion, diced
* Salt and pepper
* One 32-ounce container (4 cups) vegetable broth
* 4 ears corn, kernels removed
* 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
* 1 baguette, sliced


1. In a dutch oven, add 3 tablespoons olive oil, the crushed garlic and shrimp tails. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, discard the garlic and the shrimp tails.

2. Add the zucchini, bell pepper & onion. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes.

3. Stir in the broth and simmer for 15 minutes; Add the corn and thyme during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

4. Meanwhile, toss the shrimp with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Saute shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes. Add shrimp to soup & remove from heat. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

5. Serve with slices of warm baguette.

My Tid-Bits:

* I have never sauteed shrimp tails before, but let me tell made a difference. The smell of the shrimp tails & garlic so good! And they left a good flavor after they were removed.

* You could very easily sub chicken for the shrimp. I actually used both because I had some roasted chicken left over from the night before. The onion wasn't in the original recipe either, but it added flavor.

* This recipe makes just enough for 4 servings, but could easily be doubled.

Dreaming of cooler weather, pumpkins, apples and Aggie Football....


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