Tuesday Dinner: Country Captain

We’ve got another all-new soup today. Country Captain might be a funny name, but this soup is based on a dish that’s known as a “Southern classic” in South Carolina and Georgia. The original preparation is to brown chicken, then braise it in a raisin-studded, curry-spiced sauce with onions and tomatoes; it’s served over white rice to take advantage of the delicious sauce. So, I added a bit more broth, diced the chicken meat, swapped in brown rice for the white, and boom! We’ve got a new soup!

I like this one. Curry smells very homey and delicious to me, and I like having a more Indian-slanted tomato-based curry as a change from a Southeast-Asian coconut-milk version. The raisins and slow-cooked onions are a very sweet balance to the tart tomatoes and pungent spices, and I find the combination to be both exciting and balanced. Let me know what you think—it’s always good to hear if you guys like (or don’t like!) a new soup, so I know whether or not to make it again.

We’re beginning the ninth year of soup deliveries—can you believe it’s been that long?—and it’s fun to look back at the list of past menus and see which soups are on the regular rotation, which ones came around just once or twice, or which ones haven’t been made in a while. Somehow, I got through all last fall and winter without making a puréed winter squash soup. We had that chunky winter squash and kale soup that’s so good, but how did I not make that wonderful winter squash with red curry and coconut milk around Thanksgiving? And I must have decided that butternut squash with apples and sage was too predictable, because I haven’t made that since 2017. If you’ve got requests, either for old favorites or new ideas, let me know.

The salad today is about as summery as it comes. Big scoops of sweet, fresh corn (off) the cob, lemon cucumbers from my mom’s garden (supplemented by a bagful from Tim), yellow Jaune Flamme tomatoes (also from the backyard garden), along with peppery arugula and a creamy dressing made with nasturtium leaves. Labor Day feels like the end of summer, but my parents’ garden says that summer is still very much in full swing. Besides the cucumbers, nasturtiums, and tomatoes, they’ve got bushes of Romano beans and padrón peppers that have to be picked every other day or they get out of control.

For dessert, I made one of my children’s favorite cookies, Rebecca’s chocolate-oatmeal. Melted unsweetened chocolate mixed into the dough makes them nice and chocolate-y; oatmeal and shredded coconut give them a hearty, toothy texture. Actually, I used a five-grain blend from Good Earth instead of oatmeal; it’s got oats, barley, triticale, rye, and wheat, but “Chocolate-Five Grain Cookies” doesn’t flow very well as a name, so I’m still going to call them chocolate-oatmeal. Have a good week, my friends!

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