I was all set to start this blog: “Well, it’s finally soup weather…” And Saturday’s high temperature was in the mid-sixties! This has been a crazy winter. The sheep are still contentedly browsing out in the pasture. I’ve never waited to start feeding them hay this late. It’s been an unseasonably warm winter…so far. Who know what lies around the corner? Just in case, be prepared with these two soup recipes.
I love soup, both making it and eating it. More often than not when I go out to eat, I’ll have a cup of soup with my meal. And there’s nothing quite like filling up a house with the delicious aroma of soup on the stove.
You can decide which recipe is “The Good” and which one is “The Bad.” Actually, depending on your perspective, it could flip-flop. While they’re both made from fresh ingredients, there is probably no debate which one is better for you, at least calorie-wise. However, if you were to eat them each every day for a week, (and I have), one will become “The Bad” more quickly than the other. It’s interesting, because the first spoonful of either one is so delicious. I suppose our taste buds can be put to sleep with any food, no matter how sublime.
My daughter Lauren loves my Potato Chowder. She’s had a hankerin’ for it since October. I’ve tried to tell her, “If you want to make good soup, you have to be in the mood.” The mild weather wasn’t doing anything to motivate me. But she recently forced my hand, telling us two weeks before Christmas that she and Dan are expecting. She’s going to be a momma! So it’s time to make the soup, because if Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!
(click on any image to enlarge it)
4 cups peeled, cubed potatoes
½ cup finely chopped onions
1 cup grated carrots
1 tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Pepper
2 Tbsp. Dried parsley flakes (or ½ c. fresh, chopped)
4 chicken bouillon cubes (Knorr’s preferred)
6 cups scalded milk
4 Tbsp. Butter
½ cup flour
Many people dislike cooking due to all of the prep work. Most of us don't have a sous chef to fall back on. It's kind of like being an elementary principal; when you turn around, there's no one there to delegate to. So, cubing potatoes to make chowder can be a little tedious.
But wait! Why not use a vintage 1940's Becky Porter French Fry Cutter? This is the kitchen machine that was used in the restaurant that operated at Latshaw's Bakery in Spring City, PA. It was primarily a seafood restaurant, and of course French fries were included with every offering.
Check this out. You simply make your potatoes into raw fries...
...and then make several perpendicular cuts, and voila! You have a pile of cubed potatoes!
Add water to potatoes and onion until they are just covered. I had a little chicken stock left over from another recipe and included that when I added the water.
Add the grated carrots, salt, pepper, parsley and bouillon as soon as you start to heat, and mix everything well. Cook the vegetables for 15-20 minutes. Stir several times while cooking. Add the butter when there are approximately 5 minutes left to cook.
The potatoes will actually started to break down as they cook, helping to thicken the chowder. Check out the difference that 15 minutes can make:
While the vegetables are cooking, begin heating the milk in a separate pot to 180°, (or if you don’t have a thermometer, until small bubbles form at edges of pot.)
It really is true. I used a digital thermometer, and no sooner did the temperature reach 180° than tiny bubbles started to form around the edge of the saucepan. Set aside 1½ cups of scalded milk and thicken it with the flour. Stir until well-blended using a whisk or electric hand blender. Stir the thickened milk mixture into the undrained cooked vegetables. If everything is hot, the soup should noticeably thicken almost immediately. Add the remaining unthickened milk, and stir well.
Simmer 15 minutes more on low heat, making sure the chowder doesn’t boil. Serves 8. You can also thicken the scalded milk with corn starch. Use a little less than ¼ cup.
Variations include adding chopped celery and sliced or diced mushrooms. Diced clams or ham can be added to make other variations, as well as cooked and crumbled sausage.
The next soup recipe is one given to me by Royersford Elementary cafeteria manager Nancy Ruoff. It’s a great soup, good for you, has zero WW points, and is easy to make!
WEIGHT WATCHERS ZERO POINT
GARDEN VEGETABLE SOUP
2/3 cup sliced carrots
½ cup diced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups broth (beef, chicken, or vegetable)
1½ cups diced green cabbage
½ cup green beans
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
½ teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup diced zucchini
In a large saucepan, sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, sauté carrots, onion, and garlic over low heat until softened, about 5-10 minutes. Add the broth, cabbage, beans, tomato paste, basil, oregano, and salt. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered, about 15 minutes or until beans are tender. Stir in the zucchini and heat for an additional 3-4 minutes. Serve hot.
This makes about four 1-cup servings, and each provides 0 Weight Water points.