Soups are the ultimate comfort food at this time of year…so taking another tangent on our journey up the Raw Foods Pyramid…let’s look on the scoop about soup…starting with chowder.
Chowderis a soup that has been enjoyed as far back as 250 years ago when it was first made aboard ships and eaten with hardtack…(more on this later, or not…have you ever tried it?!…i’ll stick to oyster crackers, thank you very much)…
The perfect chowderis an ultimate comfort food…a soup which typically has a creamy base and chunky texture…a soup that is so rich and stick that it “sticks to your ribs”…and simply made with the perfect combination of
fish—such as smoked haddock
seafood…such as clams, scallops, and shrimp
spices—including salt and pepper, of course
vegetables—such as corn, leeks, onion, and potatoes
A few chowder varieties made across our nation include…
Bermuda fish chowder…fish, tomato, and onion seasoned with black rum and a sherry pepper sauce
Clam chowder…clams, diced potato, onion, celery…which varies from one state to another…
Fish chowder…chowder based on fish—such as salmon or cod.
Smoked salmon chowder…popular dish in states such as Washington and Alaska…(where smoked salmon probably isn’t as expensive as it is here in Texas)…made with tomato paste, celery, garlic, leeks, chives, potatoes and Alaskan smoked salmon.
Seafood chowder…chowder that contains additional seafood—such as shrimp, lobster, crab as its primary ingredient
Southern Illinois chowder…a thicker, heartier chowder that contains beef, chicken, tomatoes, cabbage, lima beans, and green beans….and perhaps even squirrel…
Spiced haddock chowder…Spiced haddock chowder is made with haddock fillets, carrot, potato, plain flour, bay leaves, peppercorns, mustard, and spices added to milk and cooked in a pot with butter.
So let’s get cooking…Soup’s On!!!
4C corn…only use 1/2C if making clam chowder
¼C sliced celery
1 diced yellow onion
1tsp Old Bay seasoning
1# Yukon Gold or baby red potatoes, sliced about 1/2″
2Cheavy cream, milk, or half-and-half
Seafood…(if using)…such as…
8ozwhite fish—such as cod, salmon, tilapia, and haddock
12ozpeeled and deveined shrimp
6.5oz canned chopped clams, drained
1Tbspparsley or ahandful of chopped fresh chives
—–1. Prep the corn
If you are truly wanting to make the perfect corn chowder, you will probably want to use fresh ears of corn…which means that you will first have to take the kernels off the cob by using a chef’s knife to carefully cut down the ear of corn and remove most of the kernels.
Next use either the back of your knife or a spoon to scrape any remaining pulp and juice from the cobs.
Now combine 4C corn with 2C chicken broth in a blender.
Process until smooth, about one minute on medium speed…if you do not have a blender, use a potato masher instead.
This breaks the kernels into tiny pieces, which will add “body” to your chowder…and also releases the natural corn starch in the corn, making your finished chowder thicker and sweeter,
2. Cook bacon..
Cooked bacon heightens the savory flavor and add depths to your chowder.
Cook the bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat for about eight minutes, until crispy.
Use a slotted spoon to place the cooked bacon on paper towel-lined plate to absorb some of the bacon grease, keeping about 1Tbsp of the bacon grease in the pot.
Save a few pieces of bacon to put on top when you’re dishing out the soup.
3. Cook your veggies…
Melt butter in the same Dutch oven over medium heat.
Add diced onions, carrots, and celery.
Cook about five minutes, until soft and tender…and until the onions are translucent.
Add garlic and flour.
Cook about one minute, stirring often.
4. Finish making the soup…Finish adding whatever spices and other veggies you plan on using…spices such as Old Bay seasoning, thyme, smoked paprika, bay leaf, salt, pepper…and veggies such as corn and potato.
5. Cook the soup…Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer twenty minutes, stirring occasionally….until potatoes are fork tender.
6. Thicken the soup...Either use an immersion blender to blend about half the soup until smooth….or remove about 3C of the soup to a blender, blend until smooth, and then stir the blended soup back into the pot.
7. Add the cream...
Whisk 1Tbsp cornstarch into the half and half, and then stir the mixture into the soup.
Cook ten more minutes.
This is also the time to add in any seafood if you plan on using it
8. Serve…Divide the soup into serving bowls. Top with crispy bacon, parsley, chives.
Making this in the Crockpot…
Add everything but the half and half. Cover. Cook on low for eight hours.
Freezing…Because this chowder contains so many dairy ingredients and potatoes, it would probably not be a good idea to freeze this soup…but if you do greeze it, do not add the half and half until you reheat it. Let the soup cool soup completely, and then freeze in freezer-safe containers no longer than two months.
Reheating…Pace containers in fridge overnight, Reheat in a Dutch oven, adding half half and half once the soup is warm.