Saturday, October 23, 2010

Damp Cold Days..,Homemade Soup and JOY

It's a  rainy day here in the North Woods this afternoon. It's dreary..cold and damp. I lift my spirits and bring out the soup pot...cuz nothin' breaks the gloomies like a bowl of homemade soup. It warms the body, satisfies hunger, and fills my soul with

Today I made potato and corn chowder with homemade bread sticks. The the thyme and coriander in the chowder is wafting through the house. The aroma of rising bread has my poor husband acting like a two year old on a car trip...
is it ready it ready yet..
y'all know how that goes.

Is your mouth watering.......are you hungry?  I'll bet you'd like the recipes. Here ya go.

I start off by making the bread sticks. While they rise, I start the soup.

This recipe is for 8 bread sticks. You can double everything if you need  more.

1 1/4 tea. dry yeast dissolved in
3/4 cup 110 degree water with
3 heaping tea. sugar.
( If you don't have a candy thermometer test the water on the inside of your a baby bottle. If you can feel a little heat...that's it!)
Mix the three together well and let stand while you mix the dry ingredients.
Letting the yeast stand in the sugar water, maximizes the yeast.

Mix together in a large bowl
1/2 tea salt
1 1/4 cup flour
Slowly add the yeast mix stirring well before adding more liquid.

Once the wet and dry are incorporated, turn onto a hard surface and lightly kneed...about 10 folds.

Cut into 8 even pieces and roll into 10 inch logs. Place them on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Beat one egg with
1 tea of cold water.
Brush on the bread sticks and top with Italian seasonings, poppy or sesame seeds..our favorite is course sea salt.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
Cover and let rise 30 minutes in a warm place.

                While your yummy bread sticks are filling the house with   the most amazing aroma...

Start the soup. This recipe makes about 10 serving...but it all depends on the size of your bowl. :-)
          2 celery ribs
          6 carrots
          1/4 cup sweet onion
For the vegetarian version, Saute (in the soup pot) the onion, celery and carrot in an herb infused oil. I like thyme.
Remove the veggies and set aside. Pour off the remaining oil and de-glaze your pot with one large can of veggie broth. See the bottom of this post for the meat lovers version.
Chop 12 red skin potatoes. I peel half..but do what you like here.

Add to the broth and bring to a boil. Cover.

Check the potatoes after 10 mins. If they're getting soft, add:
1 1/2 cups potato flakes
1 1/2 cup plain soy milk
1/4 cup fresh cut thyme
1/2 tea coriander
1/8 tea nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Turn down the fire and simmer.

                                                            If this had timed out right..

The bread has risen and it's ready for the oven.
15-20 minutes at 375.
Remove from sheet to cool.

Final addition to the soup. I use one quart of corn I put up this year..liquid and all. You can also add 2 large cans of corn. No Frozen. The corn starch of the liquid helps thicken the soup and makes it a chowder.

This is the best part.....Plate and serve.
Add a bit of sharp Cheddar to the soup for garnish.
Warning: Consuming more than one bowl of this hearty chowder will result in uncontrollable repeated phrases such as: " Ohhhhhh.. I'm so Full", "I couldn't help myself", "I need a nap" 

I hope you try this beautiful rainy day...liquid (well almost) JOY!!

If you give this a try...I'd love to hear from you.

Bon Appetite

Meat lovers:
In your stock pot brown 10 slices of bacon to well done. Discard all but 1 tab of the drippings.
De-glaze the pot with 1 large can chicken or veggie stock. (both are GREAT!)
Saute the celery, onion and carrot in a non stick pan with the 1 tab of bacon drippings.
When caramelized, add to the broth with the potatoes.
Follow the vegetarian until the soy milk. Add 1 1/2 cup cream instead.
At garnish...add some of the crumbled bacon on top of the cheese.

I love both versions of this chowder. Today..... I added the bacon. :-)

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