Monthly Archives: November 2014

In the Kitchen – Smoked Salmon Chowder

Guy loves smoked salmon on his bagel, whether it be a piece of the fish or a cream cheese spread.  So when I saw this soup, I immediately thought of him.  Now, I will admit, the cost of 12-16 ounces of salmon is kinda expensive… but I need to spoil him occasionally (plus it’s payday week!).

SMOKED SALMON CHOWDER

Courtesy Pinch of Yum

Serves 6

3-4 Tablespoons butter

1 onion, chopped (about 2 cups)

5 carrots, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)

3 celery stalks, sliced into small pieces (about 2 cups)

1/2 cup white wine

6-7 new potatoes, washed and diced

1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme

4 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)

2 cups milk

1 tablespoon flour

1 cup cream

12-16 ounces smoked salmon

1.  Heat the butter in a large pan over medium high heat.  Add the onion, carrots, and celery.  Saute until fragrant and soft.  Add the white wine to deglaze the pan and get all those yummy browned bits up in the mix.

2.  Add the potatoes, thyme, and 2 cups of the broth.  Simmer until the potatoes are fork tender.  Whisk the flour into the milk and add to the pan (this helps it thicken up a little bit – more flour=more thickening).  Add 1 cup of broth and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the soup starts thickening just slightly.

3.  Add the cream and smoked salmon just before serving.  If you let the salmon simmer with the soup for too long, it will get mushy.  Taste, adjust, and add the last cup of broth to thin out the consistency of the soup as desired.  Season with salt and pepper.

 

Yummy!  I made this today (Monday), and it took less than 2 hours to prepare, even with a near-wrestling match with the carrots…  I must admit I was a little worried about the taste of this soup, because I personally find smoked salmon to be a little strong for my taste.  However, the milk and cream and veggies add a wonderful counter-balance to the salmon, so that the smoked flavor isn’t overpowering.  This would be a wonderful soup for the holidays or for when you’re having company for dinner and really want to impress them!

 

Also, I’m toying with the idea of creating a cookbook!  Any suggestions for recipes would be appreciated.  If I haven’t tested and liked the recipe, however, it’s not going to be included!  This will be my Winter Break project between semesters.

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In the Kitchen – Miso Wonton Soup

It’s time for installment #3!  We are almost out of this soup.  Guy and I love going to the Japanese Hibachi restaurants – the ones where they have the huge flat top cooking surface and cook your dinner in front of you.  I have always been a fan of the soup they serve before the meal, and for the longest time didn’t know what it was called or how it was made.

Well, now I know!  It’s called miso soup, and miso is a fermented soy paste used in Asian cooking.  The most difficult item for me to find, ironically, was the miso paste!  I have yet to find an Asian market down here, although I know there’s probably several I haven’t located yet, lol.  I found the paste at the Whole Foods in Colleyville, TX, and then located it again at Central Market closer to home.  One bag of the paste gives 20-1 Tablespoon servings, so this will stretch for several makings of this soup, which will be great for those nights I make Asian and want something to go with it.

MISO WONTON SOUP

Courtesy The View From Great Island

Serves 4

28 ounces (about 3 1/2 cups) chicken broth

2 cups water

Approximately 16-20 mini wontons (I found a package of chicken mini wontons at Trader Joes)

2 Tablespoons miso paste

1 baby bok choy, thinly sliced

6 scallions, thinly sliced, white and some of the green parts, too

1 carrot, sliced paper thin

1.  Heat the broth and water to a simmer in a saucepan.  Add the wontons and simmer gently until they are heated through.  This will just take a few minutes.

2.  Add the miso to the soup and stir until dissolved.  Add the veggies and bring the soup back to a simmer.

3.  Serve hot.

This is a terrific quick-to-make soup.  I added a few mushrooms sliced super-thin, since I like those in my miso soup from the restaurant.

Also, here’s a terrific tip for slicing the carrot.  The original recipe says to use the 1/8 inch setting on a mandoline slicer to slice the carrots… I don’t own a mandoline, so that was out, and I wasn’t the craziest about having to carefully slice this carrot with my knife.  It was then that I started thinking about my potato peeler.  Yes, the same one that I used to peel that carrot.  I washed it off, and then started “peeling” super-thin slices off that carrot.  It worked great, and I got the same results that I would have if I’d had a mandoline.

Enjoy!

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In the Kitchen – Lasagna Cheese Soup

Welcome to installment #2 of the soup journey!  (And yes, I know that I’m posting recipes 1-3 at the same time – we started eating soup 3 weeks ago!)

If you love lasagna, but have difficulty trying to get the noodles boiled and hate the fuss of doing the layers of sauce, cheese, and pasta, then this soup is for you!  Guy describes this as deconstructed lasagna, and that is a very good descriptor!  Enjoy!

Lasagna Cheese Soup

Courtesy Kitchme.com

1 1/2 lb ground beef

1 onion, chopped

14 oz can chicken broth

14 oz can diced tomatoes

15 oz tomato sauce

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1 1/2 cup lasagna noodles, broken

4 oz Italian seasoned croutons (optional)

2 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

1.  In large 5 quart saucepan, brown ground beef and onion.  Drain.

2.  Stir in chicken broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, brown sugar, salt and black pepper.  Bring to a boil and turn back to simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.

3.  Add broken lasagna noodles and simmer until noodles are tender, approximately 20 minutes more.  Stir in Parmesan cheese.

4.  Ladle soup into bowls and top with croutons.  Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and serve immediately.

No changes needed to this one!  Guy loved it, and that’s all the feedback I need!  Enjoy!

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In the Kitchen – North Woods Wild Rice Soup

Hey, y’all!  The days are getting colder, daylight is getting shorter, and that means only one thing – it’s officially soup season!  Between trying to keep a hot meal available when I’ve got a late rehearsal and plenty of leftovers throughout the week so we aren’t eating out a lot, having soup on hand makes life much easier.

I decided to try a different tactic this year.  Enter the Soup-A-Week plan.  Yep, I’m making one soup per week (along with other meals as well – I promise I’m not starving Guy!) that we can enjoy for dinners and lunches.  I even went so far as to plan out each week’s soup in a spreadsheet.  I have a different soup planned for each week through the end of April – no repeating.  I was also careful to space out the main protein of each recipe – even I get tired of having a variety of chicken soup 3 weeks in a row.

But the best part of this is: you will (hopefully) get a new soup recipe each week, along with notes of my suggestions for tweaks and honest opinion as to taste, lol!  So here goes the first in a long list of soup recipes.  Bon appetite!

SLOW-COOKER NORTH WOODS WILD RICE SOUP

Courtesy Betty Crocker

Serves 6

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)

2 medium stalks celery, diced (1 cup)

2 medium carrots, diced (1 cup)

1 cup diced smoked turkey (6 ounces) – you can get the deli counter to give you REALLY thick slices of deli smoked turkey, and dice it up

1/2 cup uncooked wild rice

1 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 can (12 ounces) evaporated fat-free milk

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup frozen sweet peas, thawed

2 tablespoons dry sherry, if desired

1.  In 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Cook onion in oil about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.

2.  Place onion, celery, carrots, turkey, wild rice, tarragon and pepper in 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker.  Pour broth over top.

3.  Cover and cook on low heat setting 6-8 hours or until wild rice and vegetables are tender.  Stir in peas last 15 minutes of cooking.

4.  Mix milk and flour; stir into soup.  Cover and cook about 20 minutes or until thickened.

This soup was really good, and started our soup journey.  Probably the only changes I might make would be to add or substitute some parsley in place of the tarragon.

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New Job!

Jessi just found out she’s got a new job!  I’ve been trying since we moved down here May of 2013 to get a job with Campus Security at Southwestern.  Well, as they say, good things come to those that wait.  I started working on the paperwork for a job as a dispatcher.  It’s a part-time position, and I’ll be working days, 7 am – 3 pm.  I’m not certain of my start date yet, as we’re juggling the paperwork with dispatch and deciding training dates around my last 4 (Four?!) weeks of classes.

I just wanted to share that bit of great news!

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