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Posts Tagged ‘Soups’

From Dish Rachelle:
Clam chowder
I’m pretty sure that in my lifetime I’ve done some serious damage to the clam population of the Northeast. Some of my favorite dishes – and my family’s favorite dishes – center around this one simple ingredient. I grew up eating fried clam strips with tartar sauce with my Mom at Howard Johnson’s at brunch on Sundays and at fish fry places on the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore. I always ordered the chalky New England clam chowder at Friendly’s when I was little (and we know what a big part Friendly’s played in my childhood). I’ve known my father to cook three dishes, and three dishes only: 1) “Cheese eggs” (aka scrambled eggs with American cheese) 2) Linguine with white clam sauce and 3) Baked clams (see the bottom of this post for a neat trick he taught me). I love Zuppa di Clams and even raw ones on the half shell with cocktail sauce. This is really just starting to sound like a survey of New Jersey restaurant menus.

I’ve made Manhattan clam chowder before (“red”) but never New England. I was very pleasantly surprised. Sorry, clams – this might become another go-to.

Ingredients (makes 2 entrée-sized portions or 4 appetizers)

18 raw whole clams, shells on
2 strips bacon, chopped
Olive oil
½ large yellow onion, chopped
splash of dry white wine
1 large baking potato, diced small
clam stock (see below)
1/3 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional)
Ground pepper

Start by steaming your clams open. In a large, deep saucepan, place rinsed clams (shells on) in about a half-inch of water. Cover and steam over medium-high heat, giving the pan a shake every few minutes. Cook until the water looks foamy and the shells are all wide open, about 10 minutes.
Steamed clams
With tongs, remove the clams to a bowl. Do not drain or discard the clammy water at the bottom of your saucepan, because this will become the base of your stock! Remove the clam meat from the shells and reserve for later. Place the empty shells back in the saucepan and add about a pint and a half of water, covering and bringing it up to a simmer. Let this cook while you prepare your other ingredients.
Coming out of their shells
Clam stock
Cook the chopped bacon in a soup/stew pot over medium heat. When it looks about done, add the onions and a little bit of olive oil so they don’t stick, and soften. Deglaze with the white wine and add the potatoes.
Diced potato
Return to your clam stock and taste it. It will likely be very salty. Remove shells* and pour the liquid through a cheese cloth to remove any sand or grit that has come from them, and then pour the strained liquid straight into your soup pot. Add some fresh water if necessary to cover ingredients and dilute the salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, mostly covered, about 15 minutes.

Check your potatoes and make sure they’re done. If so, roughly chop the clam meat and add to the pot along with any liquids that emerged. Add the corn and stir. Cook, mostly covered, over low heat for another 5 minutes.
Chopped clam
Add heavy cream and if you prefer a thicker soup, the cornstarch (you can dissolve it in a little bit of warm water first to make a paste so that it’s not gritty in your mouth). Plate and season with ground pepper.

*You can toss them, or rinse and save them for another use. My Dad used to make baked clams using canned clams – easy, but without the benefit of shells for easy baking and nice presentation. No problem: when he ordered clams casino at a restaurant, he used to ask the waiter if he could keep the empty shells so that the next time he felt to urge to make baked clams he’d have them on hand.
Mutual admiration society, clam edition

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From Dish Deanna:

yum!

I don’t know about any of you, but I hate winter. As soon as the weather starts turning from summer to fall to winter, I can’t help but become a little grumpy. The biggest problem for me is the cold weather. I usually try to solve this problem with hot tea, Starbucks, hand warmers, space heaters, and SOUP. I’ve always loved soup no matter the weather. When I was in middle school my mom would make me soup for lunch and pack it in a thermos. Whatever contents of the soup didn’t fit in the thermos I ate before I left for school. Yes, at 7 am I would have soup for breakfast. Looking back on that I realize how disgusting it is. Regardless, my love for soup has never dissipated. I’ve never been discriminatory with my selections, I love them all equally. However, cream soups are particularly fun for me to make.  This recipe is a family favorite and I’m glad to say I’ve never eaten it at 7 am!

brocc

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups chicken broth (you can use fresh broth or College Inn Chicken Broth)

½ cup chopped onion

1 small bay leaf

a dash of garlic powder

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons all purpose flour (or Wondra)

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon white pepper

1 cup milk

Yields: 3-4 servings

food processed

This recipe is great because it is so incredibly easy and you can use it for any vegetable if you change out the seasonings.  For this recipe, start out by combining the chicken broth, chopped onion, the bay leaf, garlic, and broccoli in a pot.

before-after

Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for approximately ten minutes or until the broccoli is tender.

blend

Remove the bay leaf and place half of the mixture into a food processor or blender. Pulse the mixture for 30 to 60 seconds or until smooth. Pour into a large bowl and repeat with the remainder vegetable mixture.

flour

In the original pot, melt the butter under medium heat. Then blend in the flour (or Wondra), salt, and pepper. Once those are combined, add in the milk. Continuously and slowly stir the mixture until it is thickened and bubbly. If you find that your mixture is too thin, add more flour or Wondra. The thicker your mixture, the thicker the soup will be. Once you have obtained the desired thickness, stir in the blended vegetable mixture. Cook and stir the soup until it is heated. Add salt and pepper to season the soup further. If you like cheddar cheese, you can even add it in to make Broccoli Cheddar!

Like I mentioned earlier, you can use this for any vegetable because the recipe is the same. I’ve included a small chart for popular vegetables and their seasonings, if you want to get adventurous! The great thing about these soups is that you can freeze it for a later time. Enjoy and stay warm!

Vegetable Seasonings Cooking Time Yield
1 ½ cups chopped celery 2 tablespoons parsley½ teaspoon dried, crushed basil 15 minutes 3 cups
1 cup sliced mushrooms 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg 5 minutes 2-3 cups
1 cup sliced potatoes ½ teaspoon dried dill weed 10 minutes 3 cups

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From Dish Danielle:

glam

A week before Thanksgiving with no real holiday plans, the bf and I decided to host a little something at my place. We felt the right thing to do was to bring all the turkey day strays together to share a proper feast. The 8-10 person guest list quickly grew to 18… My one requirement: bring a dish to share with the group! This was a holiday potluck, so I honed in on the one dish the hostess would be responsible for: the turkey complete with stuffing.* I ordered a bird from a local farm upstate and was informed she (Florence…yes we named her…), was sacrificed only 4-5 days before our feast! Fresh as a daisy, I had to do right by her. I resolved to use every scrap of pretty Florence that I could, both pre/post roasting.

florence thanksgiving

This meal was honestly the very best Thanksgiving spread I have ever seen/eaten. Everyone’s contributions were absolutely deeeelicious. Although I sent everyone home with piles of left-overs, the bird was far from stripped. I decided to make a soup with the leftover odds & ends.

DISCLAIMER: This recipe is NOT meant to be followed to a tee! Riff on it however you see fit. Hang onto your roasting scraps and see where your soup takes you. This kind of soup can be made all winter long and interpreted in many different ways.  It’s time consuming but fairly hands off, so great to make while you’re having a cozy afternoon at home. What scraps do you having looming in your fridge right now?

soup ingredients

Ingredients:

1 bird carcass

3 leeks, rinsed and sliced (tops also rinsed, sliced and set aside)

4 shallots, sliced

1 head of fennel cut into 1” chunks

10 garlic cloves, sliced

2 parsnips

3 carrots

¾ bottle of white wine

1 box veggie stock

3 qts water

3 bay leaves

1 apple, pitted & chopped

1 pear, pitted & chopped

2 apple cores (leftover stuffing scraps)

2 pear cores  (leftover stuffing scraps)

2 stems of sage

1 handful of rough chopped fresh parsley

2 handfuls small potatoes, cut into 2” chunks

1 bunch fresh thyme, pruned and rough chopped

red chili pepper flakes

S&P

cheesecloth

leeks

Start by sautéing leeks, shallots, and fennel in your largest stock pot over med-low heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add parsnips/carrots and cook for 5mins. Add wine and raise heat to simmer. Pour the rest into a wine glass and enjoy. Sip and simmer for 20mins. Add stock, water, and bay leaf. Once you’re back to a simmer add Flor the bird! Arrange so it’s completely submerged. Toss in two pinches red chili flakes. Let it bubble awhile…

cheese cloth

Now, pile the leftover scraps into several small heaps: the apples/pears, the cores, the leek tops, and the sage. Using the cheesecloth, bundle 2-3 small piles up into the cloth and tie with kitchen string. Drop satchels into soup and continue to simmer. Add thyme. Season with S&P. Add potatoes. Soup should be just about done when potatoes are cooked to your liking. Remove from heat and discard cheesecloth bundles. Pull the bird out of the soup and allow to cool on large platter. Tear meat off bones, shred into smaller pieces and toss back into the pot.

soupmeats

Once soup has cooled, skim fat off top.

Garnish with fresh parsley, serve with crusty bread and a glass of apple cider. Enjoy turkey day’s bounty one more time and count the things you’re thankful for. It’s holiday season y’all.

*I hate to admit it but, dish Amelia’s pumpernickel & rye stuffing bested this hostess’s!

Florio final

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