Umami Mart Registry

Summer is over, but I like the beginning of the autumn. I can finally wear layers, and the chill in the morning and evening is comforting. And knitting season starts just about now!

Although the food supply has lost seasonality in many ways and we can basically find almost any ingredient, any day of the year, it's still great to go to the local farmers' market and get locally grown, seasonal vegetables.

This week and next, let me show you two great ways to enjoy summer foods during these final warm days.

Corn salad is so sweet and easy to make. It goes well with many entrees, or you can just have it as is.

Grill the corn to maximize sweetness.

Cut the corn off the cob, and mix with heirloom tomatoes and cucumbers with your favorite dressing. I mixed mustard, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and a bit of sugar for my dressing.

It's a summer-filled corn salad, super easy, and super fresh.

Next is corn soup. This takes a bit more time, but it's not difficult either.

First you cut the corn right off the cob, and set aside.

Boil the cobs to make corn stock.

Cook for about 30 minutes, then discard the cobs.

Meanwhile, sauté leeks until tender.

Once leeks are tender, add corn stock and simmer together for a couple of minutes.

Add 3/4 of the corn into corn/leek stock. Cook for a couple more minutes.

With an emerson blender or food processor, process until smooth.

This came out a bit too chunky for me, so I decided to strain this. If you like bits in your soup, you don't have to go through the next process. I just prefer my soup smooth.

And it was a pain in the ass. But this process makes a lot smoother soup, so I would recommend you do this.

Once you strain the corn through, put the remaining corn into the soup, add about 1 cup of milk (or more if you'd like a thinner soup). Since all I had in the fridge was almond milk, I used it.  This was actually a good idea, since the nuttiness of the almond milk gave the soup an extra depth. Add salt and pepper to your taste, and a very sweet, very summer packed corn soup is ready.

To serve, I drizzled a bit of truffle oil over this. It is a very flavorful soup. Plus by using almond milk, it's vegan too!

Next week, I will show you how to pack summer vegetables in order to enjoy them in the middle of blizzard.

FYI, have you noticed the picture quality improvement? I finally bought a Canon SLR with a macro lens, and let me tell you, even someone who's so bad at photo taking, like me, can take decent photos. It's a very worthwhile investment if you are into cooking and documenting your dishes.