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December 10, 2016
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Cooking real food from scratch; Avoiding ‘edible food-like substances’

Encouraging people to cook real food from scratch was the author’s mission for many years at the Wayne County Farmers Market.
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Corn cob soup with leeks, potatoes and bacon
7 cups fresh corn kernels (from 5 to 6
medium ears, cobs reserved)
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 strips of bacon
4 medium leeks, white and light
green parts, sliced thinly
4 cups milk
1 1/2 pound red-skinned potatoes,
(peeled or not according to your
preference) cut into 1/2–inch dice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 Tbsp minced fresh parsley

1. Cut kernels from ears of corn; and then over a bowl (to catch any remaining kernels and their milky juices), scrape the cobs, pressing with the back (dull side) of your knife. Add kernels to the bowl and set aside.
2. In a large pot, place corncobs with enough water to cover (about 4 cups). Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Pick out and discard cobs. Reserve 3 cups of this corn “broth.” (Discard remaining broth.)
3. Dice bacon strips and add them with 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil to a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until bacon fat is rendered. Add leeks, and continue cooking until bacon is crisp and leeks have softened, about 6 minutes.
4. Add corn “broth” to the saucepan, then milk, potatoes and salt & pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat. Simmer gently until potatoes are almost tender, about 15 minutes. Add corn kernels and milky juices, and continue to simmer gently until corn and potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
6. Puree 2 cups of soup in blender and return puree to soup pot. Reheat gently. Stir in chopped parsley. Serve immediately
Variation: To make this a vegetarian soup, substitute roasted red peppers for the bacon.
Under your oven broiler, over the open gas flame on your stovetop, or outdoors on the grill, roast red peppers, turning as necessary, until skin is blacked all over. Enclose charred pepper in small paper or plastic bag and set aside for the pepper to sweat. When the pepper is cool, rub off the blackened skin. Remove stem, seeds and veins from inside the pepper. Cut into 1/4-inch dice. Stir into finished soup.