Jacked Up Potato Corn Chowder

corn_chowder1Soup, gorgeous soup.

Nothing is better.

Add a salad and some crusty bread and you have a feast.

This one is quick and yet very hardy. Enough spice to keep it interesting.

Comfort food, come hither.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 strips bacon cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 1 large shallot diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, microplaned
  • 1 tsp hot pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cups milk
  • 4 cups  frozen hash browns
  • pepper
  • 8oz Pepper Jack, shredded
  • 1 15 oz can creamed corn
  • 2 scallions, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Fry up the bacon until crisp. Remove to paper towel for draining. Depending on how much bacon fat is in the pan, remove until there is about 2 tbsp.
  2. Add the celery and shallot and saute until softened.
  3. Add the garlic and the pepper flakes and saute until you can smell the garlic.
  4. Add the flour and stir, coating all the veggies and cooking off the raw flour a bit.
  5. Add the chicken stock and stir, bringing to a boil and letting it thicken.
  6. Add the hash browns and bring back to a low simmer.
  7. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  8. Add the milk and stir in, and then the cheese.
  9. Once cheese is melted, add the corn.
  10. Liberally grind some pepper into the mix, as much as you like.
  11. Just before serving add the chopped scallions.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: You can of course use regular potatoes and dice them or even shred them yourself. Either would work. Just extend the time a bit to cook them through.

SOURCE: Adapted by Sherry Peyton from several online recipes.

Oh What a Porky Spicy Soup

Pork-Sausage-Corn-SoupB-thumb-518xauto-368984It was kind of embarrassing how darn fast we scarfed up this soup. I mean seriously, it was so very good.

I added a  bit to the spicy factor, and we couldn’t get enough. Until we couldn’t stuff another spoonful in that is.

It’s got all my favorites, tomatoes and green chiles and pasta along with the onions and sweet peppers.

If it’s cold where you live, this is a great, come in out of the cold kinda meal. Add some cornbread and you are set.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound spicy pork sausage
  • 1 medium onion, minced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large green pepper, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 Anaheim chiles, roasted, and diced
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 4-6 cups low-sodium homemade or store bought chicken broth
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh-shucked corn kernels
  • 1 cup small, uncooked pasta, such as shells

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Brown the pork sausage, breaking up as much as you can.
  2. Add the onion, peppers and garlic and cook until translucent and softened.
  3. Add the tomatoes, corn, and balance of ingredients except for the pasta.
  4. Cook on low simmer for about 30 minutes to an hour.
  5. Add the pasta and continue until pasta is al dente.
  6. You may have to add more stock as the pasta sucks up some of the liquid.

SERVES: 8

NOTES: you can vary the sausage to any type you like of course, and add more or less of the chiles depending on how much heat you want. You can add some Parmesan cheese at the table if desired.

SOURCE: Adapted from Serious Eats

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

chickennoodleAs homemade soups go, this is one of the more time consuming only because it is so simple in ingredients and thus each part must be the best possible. If you spend the time to make the stock and the noodles, then this recipe shines. If you used canned stock and bagged noodles, well, hey it’s marginally better than Campbell’s I guess.

The good news is the stock can be made well in advance and frozen and the noodles as well. So make them when you have the time, and then the rest is fast and simple.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 rib of celery, sliced thin
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • one recipe of egg noodles

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Brown the thighs in a stock pot on both sides, in a tablespoon of olive oil, remove
  2. Add the carrots, celery and onion, until onion is softened and translucent.
  3. Add the thighs back to the pot and add the stock.
  4. Bring to a low simmer, cover and cook until chicken is done, about 1 hour.
  5. Remove the chicken to a plate to cool.
  6. Turn off the stock.
  7. Once the chicken is cooled, remove from bone and chop into bite-sized pieces.
  8. Return to the stock, and bring back to a rolling boil. Add salt and pepper to taste
  9. Add the noodles and reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally until noodles are done, about 12 minutes or so.
  10. Add the parsley.
  11. Add a bit more stock (commercial is fine at this point) if the noodles suck up too much of the broth. Salt and pepper to taste

SERVES: 6

NOTES: You could fix dumplings but this would be a bit much.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton

Gorgeous Gazpacho

 

 

Nothing says summer more than an icy bowl of Gazpacho.

There seem to be two schools of preparation–pureed or not. I am declaring myself the third school–in between. I puree part and then leave some chunky.

If you want to try this recipe, then do read on.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2-3 lbs of good tomatoes (do try to get fresh ones from a farmer’s market or homegrown
  • Approx 2 c of tomato juice
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 six-inch long cucumbers, homegrown if possible (if regular store-bought, peel)
  • 2-3 jalapeños, or other hot chiles (revise number depending on heat you want)
  • Approx 1 c beef or chicken stock
  • 1/2 c fresh basil
  • 1/4 c good quality EVOO
  • 1/3 c roasted red pepper
  • 1/3 c chopped red onion
  • 3 slices of bread (good sourdough if possible)
  • 1 tsp cumin, salt, and pepperI
  • 1/3 c sour cream or heavy cream
  • 1/4 c red wine vinegar

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Scald the tomatoes and remove the skin, remove seeds and dice into small dice.
  2. Add the garlic, one cucumber, the chiles and red onion to a food processor or blender and puree.
  3. Add to the tomatoes.
  4. Dice the other cucumber, removing the seeds if you wish first.
  5. Chop the basil and add along with the roasted red pepper.
  6. Place the bread in the blender with the tomato juice and puree. Add to the tomato mixture
  7. Add the oil, vinegar and spices. Mix well.
  8. Add as much of the stock as desired to get the consistency you wish. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  9. Add the sour cream or cream and mix.
  10. Refrigerate for several hours to chill well.

Serves: 8 at least

NOTE: you can puree it all if you wish, or none of it.

 

 

Wickedly Wild Taco Soup

Creating a recipe is a bit of a crap shoot.

I kept seeing taco soup recipes on JustaPinch and when I looked at them, well I liked the concept, but most seemed rather boring. And so I didn’t try any, but I kept thinking about it.

After a while I figured I had the basics, and then started thinking of what I might like to add.

Which I did. (dried chiles)

Then I added a bit of stuff I just happened to have opened and on hand.

And I did that. (V-8 juice)

And when I had it all together, I was a bit worried, because it looked a lot like chili.

But, when we ate it, oh my, but it was simple mindblowingly wonderful. At least to us. This is kept soupy by having enough liquid and no thickeners such as tomato paste or masa. And we can’t wait to have more as left-overs!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 lb each, ground beef and chorizo sausage
  • 1 lg onion, diced
  • 1 c celery, diced
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded (optional) and diced
  • 2 dried chiles such as New Mexican or Anchos (seeded and placed in a bowl with 1 c hot water for 30 min)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28 oz c of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans (or other you like), rinsed
  • 1 c corn
  • 1 tbsp adobo powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 qt V-8 juice
  • 1/3 c chopped fresh cilantro
  • 8 corn tortillas, cut into wedges
  • salt as needed

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Brown the meat in a large soup pot. While it is cooking add the onion, celery, and jalapeño.
  2. When the chiles have soaked for 30 minutes, remove and mince. Save the water.
  3. When the meat is browned, add the garlic, chiles, and the chile soaking water.
  4. Add the tomatoes, beans and corn and all the spices. Add the V-8 juice. (tomato juice would be fine)
  5. Bring to a simmer and simmer on low for a good two hours or as long as you wish.
  6. Just before bringing to final heating, add the cilantro and stir in.
  7. Take the tortilla wedges and fry until crisp in canola oil, drain on paper towelling, and place in a basket at the table.
  8. Add sour cream, chopped scallions, and grated cheese as condiments if you wish.

Serves: 8-10

Autumn’s Bounty Squash Soup

I have been wanting to make some winter squash soup for a good while.

Finally, I found a recipe that rather intrigued me with its interesting ingredients.

The beauty of this one, is that you can leave out any offending ones like jalapeños, or cinnamon as you wish, and still come out with a great tasting soup.

Be warned, this recipe makes a ton of soup, literally, a ton! I’ll be putting it up in freezer bags for use throughout the remainder of the winter.

So when you think winter squash, start with a smaller one, and adjust the rest of the ingredients down a bit and you won’t have soup to feed an army.

And this is a chopping recipe. But the good news is that once you are done chopping, the soup carries on by itself. So start it early and then ignore it.

And I also found no need to thicken it at all, and I don’t like flour slurries so I switched it to a raw roux if you need to thicken. This recipe comes mostly intact from Rachel Weyerman, at JustaPinch.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 med, or smaller, butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 6 c chicken stock (if you want all veggies, then do a vegetable broth)
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 apple of your choice, peeled, seeded, cubed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded, and chopped, (I left some seeds in and it was quite warm, but nice)
  • 1/8 c brown sugar (she used 1/4 and white) It provides a nice sweetness to set off the heat
  • 1 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp oregano and basil (fresh if you can)
  • 1 tsp each garlic powder, thyme, cinnamon
  • 1 med. tomato diced
  • 1 c heavy cream

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Add everything except the tomato and cream to a large soup pot and simmer until everything is nice and soft. (I left it on for a couple of hours, though this is beyond what is needed). Use a potato masher to mush everything up nicely, and then use an immersion blender to puree it to the desired smoothness. I left it a bit chunky.
  2. Add the tomato and simmer a bit longer (low simmer) about 20 minutes.
  3. If you want to thicken this further, make a raw roux by blending with a fork equal amounts of soft butter and flour until combined. Add pieces and bring the soup to a boil and continue adding until it is as thick as you wish.
  4. Add the cream, and just blend.

Serves: 10

Salute the US Navy Bean Soup

This is about as basic as it gets.

The original US Senate Navy Bean soup. It’s not got a lot of stuff in it. It thrives on beans.

And so ham.

This is a perfect soup to go to after the holidays when ham has been the featured guest. The ham bone makes this great, and make sure it’s got a fair amount of ham still clinging to it. If you have no ham, then one or two smoked ham hocks will do.

There are three ways to deal with your beans. Soak over night. Pour boiling water over and let sit until about doubled in size, or use cold water and bring to a boil, cook two minutes and let set until beans have swelled up. In all cases cover the beans to two inches over the top.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 regular bag of navy beans (1 1/2 c)
  • 1 ham bone, or 1-2 smoked ham hocks
  • 1 lg onion, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, micro-planed
  • 1 lg potato, diced
  • 1/2 salt and pepper each

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Soak your beans by your preferred method. (I tend to let them soak overnight on the counter)
  2. Drain, and refill with 7 c of water and the ham.
  3. Simmer until beans are tender (about 1-1/4 – 1-1/2 hours)
  4. Add the rest of the vegetables, and simmer until they are done, about 20-30 minutes
  5. Mash some of the beans with a potato masher if you wish a creamier soup.

Serves: 6