Summer Clam Chowder

A soup for summer!  Just like a manhattan style clam chowder but a little sunnier.  

Summer Clam Chowder

3 - 4 strips bacon, chopped

1 tablespoon grape seed oil

1 shallot, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

splash dry white wine

1 quart vegetable stock

1 14oz tin diced tomatoes

1 cup chopped clams in their juices

1 tablespoon thyme

1 teaspoon celery seeds

1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes

2 bay leaves

1 potato, peeled, medium dice

kernels from 2 ears of corn

1 1/4 cup (4.5oz) green beans, chopped small

s + p

In a large pot, over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp.  Transfer to a paper towel to drain.  Wipe out pot.  Add grape seed oil.  When oil is hot add shallots, cook until clear.  Add garlic and cook 30 seconds, stirring, not letting garlic burn or become too brown.  Carefully deglaze pot with a splash of white wine.  Add stock, tomatoes, clams, thyme, celery seeds, chile flakes, bay leaves, potato and corn kernels.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.  Simmer 20 minutes, until potato and corn are soft.  Add green beans.  Cook 5 minutes, or until green beans are soft.  

Season with salt and pepper.  

 

Vegetarian Split Pea

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I know, I know, I know.  I just made a split pea soup about a month ago.  That one wasn't vegetarian.  Although I'm not a vegetarian, I eat like one most of the week.  

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

splash olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 large carrot, peeled, diced

2 cups dried green peas (or yellow) 

8 cups vegetable stock

1 teaspoon dried marjoram

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika  

2 potatoes, peeled, chopped

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar  

s + p

In a large pot, heat a splash of olive oil.  Sauté onion, garlic, celery and carrot 5 minutes.  Add dried peas and cook, stirring, 2 minutes.  

Add stock, majoram, thyme, cumin and paprika.  Boil, reduce heat, simmer 30 minutes.  Add potatoes, simmer 30 to 45 minutes more, mostly covered.  When it's done, the peas will be very tender and with a good stirring will fall apart. 

Add cider vinegar.  Season with s + p.  

 

 

Coconut Chickpea + Mixed Vegetable Curry

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Be prepared to have a lot of soup on your hands.  This recipe makes about 5 quarts.  I like to have huge amounts of healthy things like this around for a quick lunch or dinner during a busy week.  

A quick note on curry powder:  not all curry powders are created equally.  Look for one with fenugreek in it.  This  makes a big difference in flavor.  

Coconut Chickpea + Mixed Vegetable Curry Soup

Splash olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 inch fresh ginger, minced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 carrots, peeled, chopped

1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed, chopped

1 14oz tin diced tomatoes

1 14 oz tin LITE coconut milk

6 cups vegetable stock

2 potatoes, diced

4 teaspoons curry powder

1 red bell pepper, seeded, chopped

1 green bell pepper, seeded, chopped

1 14oz tin chickpeas, drained, rinsed

1 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed, chopped

lime juice, to taste

s + p

In a large (at least 5.5 quart) pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add onion and saute 5-8 minutes until soft and clear.  Add garlic and ginger.  Saute 2 minutes more.  Add carrots and cauliflower.  Cook 2 minutes more, stirring frequently.  Add tomatoes, coconut milk, stock, potatoes and curry powder. Stir.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.  Add bell peppers.  Simmer 5 minutes more.  Add chickpeas and kale.  Season with lime juice, salt and pepper.  

 

Split Pea + Ham Soup

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Perfect for winter.  Make this on a cold day and you'll realize the merits of super chilly weather.  I used yellow and green split peas, but using only green will give you the color you're used to seeing.  

Serves 6.

Split Pea + Ham Soup

splash oil (olive, canola, grapeseed..)

1 yellow onion, diced

1 carrot, peeled, diced

1 celery stalk, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

2 cups dried split green peas

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1 - 1 1/2 lbs smoked ham hocks

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried ground fennel

8 cups vegetable stock

1 idaho potato, peeled, chopped

s + p

In a large pot, heat a splash of oil over medium high heat.  Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic.  Cook 5 minutes until vegetables are glossy and onions are clear.  Add peas, thyme, ham hocks, cumin and fennel.  Cook 1 minute more.  Add stock.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer partially covered for 45 minutes.  Add potatoes.  Cook 30 minutes more.  Remove ham hocks from soup, cut meat off and chop.  Stick immersion blender into soup and blend for a couple seconds or place 2 cups of soup into a blender and blend.  Return blended soup to pot.  Soup will now be thicker.  Add meat back to the soup discarding bones, fat and whatever.  

 

Chicken + Cheddar Chive Dumplings

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Everyone seems to be coming down with a cold so here's a little comfort food in the form of chicken and dumplings.  It's really just a simple chicken stew with dumplings cooked in.  (I used boneless, skinless chicken breast but chicken thigh meat would be good too. Also, the chicken does not need to be cooked first, I just dislike boiled chicken and find that the chicken has better texture when cooked on its own in a pan and then added to soups.  But feel free to just add your raw chicken when the recipe says so.)  No peeking at the dumplings with they're cooking.  

Chicken + Cheddar Chive Dumplings

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces

3 tablespoons butter

1 clove garlic, minced

few springs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

1 onion, peeled and chopped

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 celery root, peeled and chopped

8oz mushrooms, quartered

1/2 cup peas (frozen ones are ok)

32 oz chicken stock

1/3 cup all purpose flour (for rue)

1 cup cake flour (for dumplings)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

black pepper

1 oz cheddar cheese, grated

1 1/2 tablespoon fresh chives, minced

1/2 cup milk, (more if needed)

In a pan, cook chicken and set aside. While chicken is cooking, get the dumplings ready.  In a bowl, combine cake flour, baking powder, salt, cheddar and chives.  Stir in milk.  Set aside.  

In a large pot,on medium heat,  melt butter and add carrots, celery root, garlic, thyme sprigs and bay.  Cook 5 minutes, until onion is glossy and carrots are soft.  Add flour and stir to coat.  About 1 minute.  Turn heat to high and add stock, chicken, mushrooms and peas.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer.  Drop dumpling batter in by the spoonful.  There will be about 6 dumplings.  They will expand a lot when cooking so space them out as much as you can.  Cover and simmer 15 minutes. (No peeking at the dumplings while they're cooking, opening the lid of the pot lets steam escape and your dumplings need that steam to cook.)   Test dumplings for doneness with a toothpick, if not done, cover and simmer 5 minutes more.  

Serve hot!