By nature, I'm not a yogurt lover, but I'm learning to love yogurt, especially as a base for soup. It's popular in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines. Mix anything with yogurt -- vegetables, fruit, meatballs -- and add herbs and spices, and you can create endless variations. Chilled yogurt soup refreshes; warm yogurt soup satisfies. If you've never tried yogurt as a soup base, I think you'll be surprised at how creative you can be with it.
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Here in Rhode Island, fresh corn made its seasonal debut at the farmers' markets this week. My mother never ate corn except on the day it was picked, and I've grown up to be a corn snob, too. So for the six weeks of corn season, I visit the farm stands (my favorite is Dame Farm, a century farm just west of Providence) and enjoy different varities of corn each week. Last summer I used corn cobs to make a sweet yet robust corn stock. And then I made soup. Lots of soup.
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When sweet bell peppers arrive at the farmers' market, buy as many as you can carry in your basket. Trust me: even if you've never done it before, you are going to want to make soup. Most often I eat bell peppers raw, in salads, or grilled on skewers, but I also like to make batches of roasted red (or yellow or orange or green) peppers and store them in olive oil in the refrigerator. Then the roasted peppers, or raw ones, transform into the sweetest, smoothest, all-purpose soup base, less acidic than tomatoes and every bit as versatile.
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