Prep. Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 12 - 14
4 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed (LuAnn won't peel, but rather just scrub well)
6 cups whole milk (use more as needed)*
2 cups heavy cream (or use 2 more cups milk if you don't wish to use cream)*
1 teaspoon salt
8 strips of bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces (LuAnn will omit)**
1 small yellow onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/4 teaspoon dried minced garlic)
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (14.5-ounce) can sweet corn, drained (I will use frozen corn)
2 cups cubed zucchini (1 medium)
2 cups cut green beans (One 14.5-ounce can, salt-free, drained; I will use frozen)
2 cups green chiles, cut into 1-inch pieces (if using canned, three 4.5-ounce cans are fine; LuAnn will probably use less)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, optional
1/2 to 1 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese, optional (LuAnn will omit)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Add the potatoes and cook until tender, about 8 minutes.
Drain and return to the pot.
Add the milk, heavy cream (if using), and salt and heat over medium heat (don't boil).
In a skillet, cook the bacon and onions until the onions are translucent and tender.
Add the garlic, cumin and oregano and cook for an additional 2 minutes.Drain the mixture well on paper toweling and then add to the pot along with the corn, zucchini,m beans and chiles.
Cover and simmer over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, until the zucchini is tender.
Taste and add pepper and more salt to taste.
Serve in bowls with a sprinkling of cilantro and cheese if desired.
I did make a number of changes to the recipe, so it will be up to you to make your own judgment should you try the recipe as written, but we thought twist was "Perfecto!" Definitely worth making again. Thick and rich enough to flood a winter-chilled body with warmth, and spicy enough to make that warmth linger....
Here were my changes, if this is TMI, just SOB :
1. I did NOT peel the potatoes, but instead went for the "rustic" look, which was not only easier, but also more nutritious!)
2. In place of the milk and cream, I made a rich "nut milk" from raw cashews and water, simply blended until velvety smooth in my Vita-Mix
3. I used 2 teaspoons of salt, rather than one
4. Instead of bacon, I used 2 packets of a vegetarian ham flavoring made by Goya
5. I increased the amounts of onion and garlic (just because that's the way we like it)!
6. I used frozen sweet corn and green beans instead of canned; I would recommend using 2 cups of EACH (recipe used less corn than green beans)
7. I used 2 (4-ounce) cans of chopped green chiles instead of the three cans recommended in the recipe as a substitute for fresh green chiles, which I was unable to get in our local market
8. I used half the amount of pepper and twice the amount of cilantro; cilantro is NOT optional when I make Mexican/SWestern food!
9. No cheese
I also streamlined the procedure by sautéing the onions and garlic in a large saucepan - this first step alone made the kitchen smell wonderful - then adding 6 of the 8 cups of water needed to equal the liquid contributed by the milk and cream in the original recipe. (The remaining 2 cups were blended with 1 1/2 to 2 cups of raw cashews and added to the saucepan after the vegetables were cooked).
Rather than cooking the potatoes separately, I added the raw, cubed potatoes to the same saucepan, along with the corn, green beans, zucchini, cumin, oregano, salt and vegetarian ham flavoring, then boiled the mixture gently over medium heat until the vegetables were tender.
When the vegetables were done, I stirred the concentrated cashew/water mixture and drained, canned green chiles into the saucepan, then continued to cook gently for another 5 minutes or so.
Lastly, I added the pepper, checked the salt, adjusted the amount of liquid and stirred in the fresh minced cilantro.
Soup's on! And it is GOOD!
Source: Penzey Spice catalog, Thanksgiving, 2010; recipe from customer Beth Grimes; posted by LuAnn for KRT.