Beverley Bateman is a Canadian author who writes romantic suspense while sipping a local wine overlooking the lake in beautiful British Columbia, where she lives with her husband and two Shiba Inu dogs. Learn more about her and her books at her website and blog.
In my series, the Hawkins’ family, Annie Hawkins, the mother, has an herb garden. She’s always grown her own herbs and uses them in her cooking. Her kitchen is usually filled with the wonderful scents of rosemary, thyme, lemongrass and basil, to name a few. References to the herb garden are in every book, including Missing, and bring back nostalgic memories of hanging out in Annie’s kitchen. And she’s always cooking up something for her family members and friends. Here’s a recipe for one of her wonderful soups.
Annie’s Corn Chowder
(serves 8 – 12)
2 tablespoon butter
1/2 pound bacon, diced
1-1/2 cups chopped onion
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
1-1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons flour
6 cups chicken broth or stock
5 cups peeled, finely diced all-purpose potato
3 cups fresh (or frozen) corn kernels
1-1/2 cups half-and-half
Add the butter into a soup kettle and melt over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook till crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels.
Pour off all but 1/4 cup of fat from the pot. Add the onions and season them with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook till soft, then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add flour and mix into the veggies.
Add broth and potatoes. Cover the pot and bring to a boil; then lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Add corn. Cover and simmer everything 5 to 6 minutes.
Stir in the half-and-half. Season with the basil and thyme and
add freshly ground black pepper to taste. Sprinkle with a basil garnish and serve.
Running from a disastrous engagement, and an over-powering father, Dr. Allie Parsons agrees to help out an old friend and travels to Duster, Montana. She’s agreed to help the local doctor until he can find a permanent new doctor. A city girl, Allie is greeted with culture shock in small town Duster, but she also finds a warm, friendly community. And the doctor turns out to be young, tall, dark and handsome. He sends her emotions shooting sky high. She’s welcomed into the Hawkins family and develops a relationship with the doctor’s daughter. A mysterious stranger leaves notes at the clinic and Allie fears they are a warning he’s going to kidnap the doctor’s daughter.
Luke Hawkins, one of the Hawkins’ brothers, is looking for a doctor to take over half the practice from the retiring doctor. He’s not expecting his temporary replacement to be a young, sexy, single woman from New York. He knows she’s the woman he’s been searching for all his life, but he also knows she won’t stay in Duster. Now he has to convince the woman he loves that she really is a small town doctor at heart.