Shrimp, Potato & Corn Chowder

Standard

So here in KC, the weather was surprisingly warm in February, and now in March – its damn cold again. That stupid groundhog. It snowed all day last Saturday and today high of 30! Ack. When its cold like this, I crave a big bowl of comforting soup. SOOOUUUPP! I wanted to try a new recipe and found one for corn, potato & shrimp chowder. The recipe I saw was a bit too simple for me – but it needed more of a punch with herbs, spices & additional ingredients. So I added a bunch of flare and made it my own. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did. I really was impressed. It is one of the best soups I’ve ever made & puts some restaurant soups to shame. Of course I’m biased, but really – it’s good.

IMG_3966

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp (I prefer raw but you can buy pre-cooked – just aren’t as flavorful when you can season/cook yourself)
  • 8 medium size yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 can corn (15 oz approx)
  • 1 can white clam sauce (10 oz approx) – can use clam juice but I prefer white clam sauce
  • 4 strips cooked bacon cut into small crumbles/pieces
  • 2 leeks – cleaned and chopped into small pieces (1/2 inch)
  • 1 fennel bulb – cleaned and chopped into small pieces (approx 1/2 inch)
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme leaves
  • 2 tsp old bay seasoning (divided)
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped (or about 1 tbsp pre-chopped/prepared garlic)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • plenty of salt & pepper
  • Bread (optional) for serving

Directions:

  1. Bring 2 tbsp of olive oil to medium high heat in a dutch oven/soup pot
  2. Pat shrimp dry w/ paper towel – place into oil in pan
  3. Sprinkle 2 pinches of salt, 2 pinches of pepper and 1 tsp old bay seasoning onto shrimp
  4. Cook shrimp until just curling and pink and firming up, do not overcook – they will continue to cook once you put them in the soup a bit
  5. When shrimp are done – set on plate w/ paper towel to rest
  6. In same pot, melt 3 tbsp butter
  7. Add fennel, leeks, cayenne, thyme other tsp of old bay, and garlic
  8. Sautee until vegetables are very soft – about 7-8 minutes
  9. While vegetables are cooking, cut potatoes into 1 inch cubes (you can do this earlier, but you’ll need to place them in a bowl of salted water so they don’t oxidize)
  10. Once vegetables are soft and cooked down, add flour and cook for about 1 minute.
  11. Add clam sauce, milk, chicken broth & potatoes
  12. Bring to boil
  13. Reduce heat, cover and simmer on medium to medium low (every stove is different) – ensure pot is actually simmering, but not boiling. Stir about every 4 minutes
  14. Simmer/cook for about 20 minutes – until potatoes are soft
  15. Once potatoes are soft – add in corn, bacon and shrimp. Turn heat to medium (if not already there) and leave for 5 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
  16. Add in parsley and lemon juice.
  17. Stir well and serve HOT (with bread as you choose).

**Reheating tip: We remove the shrimp (if we don’t eat them all) and store them separately from the soup in the fridge. When reheating the soup on the stove or microwave…heat thoroughly, then add in shrimp and heat for maybe 30 seconds to a minute – so the shrimp don’t get rubbery and overcooked during reheating.

IMG_3954

IMG_3955

chopped fennel & leeks

IMG_3953

cooking shrimp in seasonings & oil

IMG_3956

shrimp resting after cooking

IMG_3957

adding butter to pan once shrimp pulled out

IMG_3959

Cooking fennel, leeks & spices in butter

IMG_3960

adding flour to vegetables

IMG_3961

added clam sauce, milk, stock & potatoes

IMG_3962

Once potatoes are done – added corn & bacon

IMG_3963

Post corn & bacon – add shrimp. Cook 5 more minutes!

IMG_3966

FINALE! 

Advertisements

Mexican Street Corn Soup

Standard

I’m back! Having a kid = no time to cook, let alone time to blog if I happen to actually cook something. For you ladies who somehow make the whole full-time job, blog, kid or even MULTIPLE kid thing happen successfully – hats off to you. Cocktails on me. If you follow me or know me, I have not been focused on the blog for a while but going to try to get back into it in 2017.

I feel so much better when I cook for either myself, my family or my friends. I like to turn on the tunes, grab a glass of wine and just chop and simmer. Breathe and chill. My hope for 2017 is to do Sunday meal prepping so I’m cooking and then I’ll also have quicker ‘heat up’ meals since we try to be around the dinner table at 5:30 or so. Wish me luck.

Without further adieu – here is the recipe for Mexican Street Corn Soup – a few variations included. Apologies here for limited pictures. Not fully back on my blog/capture images game. Get more wine and use your imagination – or message me. 🙂

img_3239

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oiil
  • 6 ears of corn – with the corn cut off the cob
    • I couldn’t find much fresh corn in the winter so I did 3 cobs and 2 cans of corn OR you could do 4 entire cans of corn if you can’t find fresh corn
    • If you use canned corn, drain WELL and pat dry with paper towel. Or you can do this earlier in the day and leave the corn out on paper towels for a couple of hours to dry out a bit.
  • 1 medium carrot peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery rib peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 chopped yellow or white onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp chili powder + 1 tsp for garnish (can add more as you wish)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro – divided
  • 1 avocado chopped (optional)
  • 1 immersion blender or food processor
  • 1 fine mesh sieve or strainer

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in non-stick stock pot over medium to medium-high heat
  2. Add in onion, celery, carrot and corn kernels (cut from cob or from can), chili powder, cumin, salt & pepper (I did about 3 pinches of salt and 1 pinch of black pepper)
  3. Saute until onions begin to look translucent and the corn begins to stick to the pan and get brown in spots. Took me about 10-13 or so minutes
  4. Add garlic and cook about 2 more minutes
  5. Remove 1 cup of corn mixture and set aside
  6. Add chicken broth and corn cobs (no more than 6 cobs) to the pot.
  7. Simmer 30 minutes on low
  8. With tongs remove the corn cobs and throw away
  9. Add in cup of sour cream and 3/4 cup of queso fresco. Stir well to combine.
  10. In batches (I had to do 2 batches), blend the soup with your food processor or blender.
    • After processing, I ran/pushed half of the blended soup through a sieve. I don’t like super thick soups and the corn kernel skins were getting stuck in my teeth when I tasted so I strained it to ensure it wasn’t too gunky.
  11. Put all soup back into the pot and heat to medium
  12. Add corn mixture from earlier when you removed it prior to adding chicken broth (step 5)
  13. Add in 1 tbsp (half) of the cilantro and lime juice – stir well
  14. Pour soup into bowls
  15. Garnish with lime zest, cilantro, queso fresco, chili powder.
  16. Add avocado if you wish.
  17. ENJOY!
img_3236

Step 6 – adding broth & cobs to then simmer

img_3237

Queso fresco, chopped cilantro & lime

img_3238

Finished soup bowls – ready for my belly!

Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

Standard

IMG_7787

This soup is so comforting and delish. As new parents we are ALL about meal prep…IE: what can we make a lot of and toss in the freezer for quick meals on week nights? Soup is an amazing option for lunches, dinners, period. Its my new favorite food!

Before my husband heads to work he pulls a mason jar of soup out of the freezer and places in the fridge. When home – pour it into a pot on the stove, heat it up and eat. Voila! Its much better for you and comes with much less guilt than ordering a pizza or hitting the BK drive-thru when exhausted after a long day and sleepless night before. We also made it over the Christmas holiday with my family and it was a big hit.

This soup is SO easy to make and I know you’ll love it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 cup uncooked wild rice blend
  • 1 cup chopped yellow or white onion
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 stick of butter, cut into 1 tbsp chunks
  • 2 clove minced garlic
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp of each dried thyme, marjoram, sage and rosemary
  • 1 rotisserie chicken – shredded (or you can shred chicken breasts or chicken thighs on your own)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt
  • Pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Prepare rice according to directions listed on package.
  2. As the is rice cooking, in a large pot, melt 2 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery and sauté until slightly tender, about 5 minutes
  3. Add in garlic and sauté another minute or so
  4. Add chicken broth, thyme, marjoram, sage, rosemary and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  5. Meanwhile reduce heat to low and add cooked rice.
  6. Add shredded chicken to soup. Keep on low temperature.
  7. In a separate medium saucepan (you can just rinse/wipe the rice pan), you will start the roux by melting the remaining 6 Tbsp butter over medium heat.
  8. Whisk in flour and cook 1 1/2 minutes, whisking constantly. Then, while whisking vigorously, slowly pour milk into butter/flour mixture.
  9. Stir this roux constantly until it thickens. Add the roux/milk mixture to soup/broth mixture in pot and cook about 5 minutes longer, or until soup is thickened (you can simmer the soup for a longer period of time if you want the rice to soften more, just cover with lid first and stir occasionally. **I don’t use all the roux every time, pour in as much as you like or don’t like to satisfy the texture you prefer — up to you!
  10. Stir in heavy cream and serve warm.
IMG_7775

Carrots, celery, & onion chopped

IMG_7776

The wild rice blend we used

IMG_7774

Rotisserie chicken shredded

IMG_7781

Cooked wild rice

IMG_7779

Broth poured into cooked vegetable mix

IMG_7780

butter and flour – ready for roux

IMG_7782

roux (milk mixture)

IMG_7784

Soup mix after roux is added

IMG_7787

Final product once all ingredients included

Butternut Squash Soup

Standard

IMG_5682

So I’ve explained how much I love butternut squash right? Well, I LOVE it. Plus I grew a ridiculous load of it in my garden this summer and have like 13 huge squash to use so if I didn’t like it I’d be in a bit of trouble. Butternut squash soup is likely my favorite way to eat squash, but don’t quote me on that. I may change my mind tomorrow.

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 11.33.33 PM

Now, to be clear this is NOT a soup that is mealy, fibrous or baby-food like in its texture. I prefer creamy/silky soups and this falls into that category. This is not a complicated process re: skill or technique, BUT it does take a bit of time. I’d say you will likely spend about 1 hour total cooking time meaning ‘on your feet active in the kitchen time’. But its WORTH it and you’l end up with about 3 mason jars full of soup to eat that week, freeze, give to neighbors and be all Norman Rockwell-esque during the holidays – its your soup…go nuts.

The best part about this soup is how it tastes. The second best is how you can top the soup with whatever you want – I used goat cheese crumbles and toasted walnuts this time around. I’ve used things like fried sage, parmesan cheese, toasted pine nuts, toasted pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds, the world is your oyster. So lets get to work!

Equipment:

  • High powered food processor, high powered blender (Vitamix-like), or immersion blender
  • If you do NOT have a food processor or immersion blender, you will need some sort of low powered blender and a fine mesh strainer.
  • I used a high powered food processor AND the fine mesh strainer. I like my soup extra smooth. Using the high powered blender alone would’ve been ok, I tasted the soup and it was really good texture, but I did the extra work anyways.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium size butternut squash (about 4 lbs)
  • 1 cup buttermilk or half/half (you could use cream but I tried to be ‘light’)
  • 2 small granny smith apples
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 4 gloves garlic minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth (canned or fresh). You can use vegetable stock if you prefer.
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 10 whole fresh sage leaves
  • 2 tsp salt measured + more on the side for use
  • 2 tsp fresh ground pepper measured + more on the side for use

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Peel, seed, and cube the squash into 1″ cubes.
  3. Line two baking sheets with foil
  4. Put all squash in a bowl. Sprinkle with some of your ‘on the side’ salt and pepper.
  5. Melt 2 tbsp of butter and pour into bowl. Mix well and spread all squash on the baking sheets
  6. Place in oven for 20 minutes. After cooking for 20 minutes, with a spatula flip the squash/move around a bit. Cook for another 20 minutes or until they are VERY tender, easily pierced with a fork or a knife. The fork or knife should go into the squash like its butter.
  7. While squash is cooking, peel the apple, core it, seed it and chop into a medium dice (about 1/2 inch)
  8. Peel the onion and chop into a medium dice (about 1/2 inch)
  9. Peel and mince the garlic
  10. Pull squash from oven.
  11. In a large dutch oven or stock pot, melt the other 2 tbsp butter and toss in the onions, apples, and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat.
  12. After another 5 minutes when onions are beginning to soften, toss in the sage leaves. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  13. Add in the squash to the onion/apple mix and continue to cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often.
  14. Add in all water and chicken stock.
  15. Bring to a boil.
  16. Lower to a simmer for about 20 minutes.
  17. Pull from heat and stir in the half/half.
  18. Working in batches, put spoonfuls of the soup mixture into the blender until its about half full. Leave the smaller center lid off and cover with a dish towel (to allow steam to release).
  19. Blend for about 15 seconds or until smooth. It may seem very thick in the first batch or two, but you still have a lot of mixture to work with and the majority of the liquid comes at the end. Patience friends.
  20. Pour the blended soup out of the blender bottle and either into a large pot OR you can first run it through a mesh strainer to give it one more ‘get rid of clumps’ round. I usually taste it to test the texture so I can decide what I want to do.
    • If you DO decide to run it through a strainer that is easy! Just hold the strainer in your left hand and pour in the soup with your right. Grab a spatula and stir the soup around the strainer until its all pushed through. Then rinse the strainer so its ready for the next batch.
  21. Continue steps 18-20 until all soup is blended, strained (if you prefer) and into the new pretty pot of soup.
  22. Add the measured salt and pepper…tossing in more as you like.
  23. If you want the soup any thinner, you can add more stock or milk…just add a little at a time so it doesn’t dilute the flavor too much, or make the soup too thin.
  24. Serve immediately so its still hot, or pour into mason jars (once cooled) to eat later or eat another day.
IMG_5658

About to pour melted butter on the squash and mix. it. up.

IMG_5659

Squash about to be roasted!

IMG_5660

Squash roasting in the oven

IMG_5664

Cooking apples, onion, sage, garlic in butter

IMG_5665

Adding roasted squash to the onion/apple/sage mix

IMG_5667

Simmering and almost ready for the blender

IMG_5671

About to blend the soup

 

IMG_5673

Straining soup after its been blended

IMG_5674

Straining the soup

IMG_5678

Final soup in large pot

IMG_5681

Final product served w/ toasted pecans, goat cheese and breadsticks