Monday, October 26, 2009

Succotash (that turns into soup)

I once had to make a soup version of Succotash even though I'd never even tasted the real thing. Since this was in the dark ages before Epicurious I completely winged it based only on knowing that it should have corn, lima beans, and probably ham. I've since discovered that there are endless variations and arguments about what should be in Succotash. So my made up recipe that starts as a side and becomes a soup may not be what you (probably Brian) think of as Succotash, but it'll do. Serve it with all sorts of summery dishes, as a main when you see the last fresh corn on sale (like we did), or in the dead of Winter when you are missing corn. Also, John thinks he doesn't like Lima beans so I used black-eyed peas, but I think little baby Limas are great.

makes a ton - enough for 4 to 6 as a side and then there will be leftovers for the soup below
printable version

5 ears fresh corn (or 2 cans)
1 pound good ham, diced (I use Black Forest from The Swinery)
4 cloves garlic, diced
5 medium yukon gold potatoes, cut bite-sized
2 cups cooked black-eyed peas (or other bean)
Tabasco or other hot sauce
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t thyme
  • Start your potatoes either in a pot of water or in the oven to roast.
  • Saute the garlic in a little olive oil until it just starts to brown. 
  • Add the ham cubes and saute until they have brown edges.
  • Cut the kernels from the corn and add it to the ham along with the peas, cumin, thyme, cooked potatoes, and a few dashes of Tabasco.
  • Saute on medium until the peas are heated through and the corn is cooked, about 10 minutes. Splash in a little hot water or olive oil if your pan is getting dry.
  • You're done.

Soup from the Leftovers
3 cups leftover Succotash (or whatever the equivalent corn & beans & ham would be)
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
4 to 6 cups chicken stock
thyme & cumin to taste
1 medium-sized winter squash, peeled and diced (2 -3 cups)
1 cup cream (optional)
  • Saute the onions and garlic in the bottom of a soup pot until the edges are starting to brown.
  • Roast the squash cubes in a 400 degree oven simply by tossing in olive oil, salt & pepper and letting them cook until the edges are brown.
  • Add the leftovers to the pot and cover with chicken stock, adding it bit by bit until it's the consistency you like - you'll be adding the squash to bulk it up, but them cream to thin it again.
  • Once it's all warm enough to taste adjust the seasonings.
  • Simmer this on low for at least 30 minutes (an hour or more would be good if you have it).
  • Stir in the cream about 10 minutes before eating.
  • Serve with buttered toast (always!).
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