Summer in Winter

soup_cornHaving lived in the low desert, I truly appreciate the 4-season climate of Minnesota.  I enjoy every season, and make efforts to celebrate the wonders and joys of the seasonal cycle, but there are times when I’ve had too many subzero winter days, or too much of summer’s humidity, or too much spring rain.

This has been a mild winter overall, although we’re currently experiencing extreme cold that has closed schools for most of the week.  Oddly enough, soon the temperatures will be warmer than normal and it will feel like spring.

When we are in the midst of an arctic blast, are feeling like moles due to the short daylight hours, or are tired of shoveling snow, a few of the things we like to do to are

  • Visit an indoor garden or zoo
  • Swim indoors
  • Cook summery foods
  • Have an indoor picnic
  • Watch movies set in sunny, warm locations
  • Look at photos from past summers

Today I put together this soup, not even thinking of summer, but when I sat down to eat, its bright colors and warm aroma breathed the word to me.

Summer in Winter Soup

1/2 lb great northern beans
1 very large onion, or 2 of average size, chopped fine
1 large red bell pepper, in small dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 c frozen corn
1 small red potato, in small dice
salt, pepper and crushed red pepper to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric
stems of 1 large bunch cilantro, chopped

Cook the beans by your favorite method and reserve the cooking water (or use 1-2 cans). Saute the onion and bell pepper, then add garlic, beans and cooking water, potato, corn, and cilantro stems.  Add sufficient water to just cover, then season with turmeric, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.  Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.  Use an immersion or regular blender to puree a small amount of the soup, and stir.  Garnish with more cilantro if desired.

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