My own ancestral link to chowder would have to be the hard tack eaten by sailors. These days there seems to be a lot of cream in chowder, but I don't think cream would have survived for long out on the Grand Banks. More likely a mush of hard tack and water. I imagine the cod fisherman eating saltfish chowder on the outbound journey and fresh cod chowder on the return ...
Faced with the ends of a vegetable delivery it can be hard to think of what to make. Here is an easy and flavourful creamy soup which can be eaten as is or used as a base for chowders and pie fillings. Plenty of possible substitutions - just use what you have left over.
Cup a soup
My sister's cooker went off the other day . She went out and for the first time ever bought one of those soup packets that you can rehydrate with boiling water. I waited until I knew she had proper food again before pot roasting a chicken - just couldn't have eaten it eat it knowing she only had a soup packet. But a whole chicken poses problems for someone living alone. After the first night, and sandwiches, what to do? I made soup.
When the vegetables have started to cook, put the chicken back in and cover with boiling water. When the soup comes to the boil turn down to a simmer, cover and leave for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally. If using barley, at least 2 hours. Then turn off the heat, take out the chicken, mash the vegetables somewhat, remove the meat from the bones and return the meat to the soup. Throw in a handful of green beans and simmer until they are tender. Skim off any undesirable flotsam/grease. Check the seasoning and it's ready to go.
Soup in a cup
One of my favourite cookery books was written in 1963. It's How To Cook Your Catch, by Rube Allyn (and still available today.) I bought it on holiday in Florida a long time ago. I love turning the pages and reading the names - grouper, pompano, grunt, sheepshead, catfish and barracuda. The recipes are fab …
Minestrone senza formaggio
Taking a quick tour of the internet before writing this recipe I realised that there are wildly different ways of approaching this buxom vegetable soup. Some, incredibly to me, have no tomato (isn't that a minestre?) The subject of stock is heated. Some include ham and cheese. So, if you are happy with your own recipe there is no need to change. But, for anyone who has never made minestrone before, you might want to start here:
Norfolk. The home of the root vegetable. Indoors, we ate mashed carrot and swede, roast parsnips, pot roast turnips, baked potatoes, pickled beetroot. Outside there were clamps of sugar beet and mangles everywhere. But I cannot remember ever eating or seeing celeriac. Technically a swollen hypocotyl, celeriac starts off knobbly and tough-looking but by the …
Leftover soup … and something on toast
My vegetable delivery came before I had finished all the root veg in the last box. However, the weather turned cold at more or less the same time, so I made some warming leftover soup. Very nice by itself or with something on toast.
Covid comfort cooking 1, Catharine
Cooking has always been a source of relaxation as well as a necessity for me. Luckily, I went into lockdown with full cupboards because a few days later I was feeling sick and self-isolating with my partner. My brain disintegrated, and the only thing I could do apart from sleep was go through the old …
Leek and potato soup
Mother took her culinary influences from Constance Spry, Elizabeth David and her own well travelled life. Nobody could have criss-crossed the world much more than she had to. But this is what we ate in England, during the two very cold years we stayed at home in Gravesend. I have been making versions of it …