"Getting rid of everything that doesn’t matter allows you to remember who you are. Simplicity doesn’t change who you are, it brings you back to who you are."

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Souper Bowl Sundays - Seafood Chow-da

Mama Pea over at A Home Grown Journal is offering up a challenge that's not too hard to take. 

Soup Sundays.  Cook a soup and post about it each Sunday.

In the dead of a North Carolina winter, when even a transplanted Yankee can bitch about "How freaken cold it is this morning (26 degrees)"...Well, lets just say I'm looking forward to ways of warming my house as well as my tummy for the next few weeks.

So I'm VERY curious to see what everyone will bring to the table, so to speak. 

"Hey, I'm looking for good ideas same as everyone else!"

My problem though is that I really don't cook from recipes. 

Except for baking.  I've learned that to try and wing it when you're baking is a recipe for disaster.

When I cook savory, I just look around, see what I've got in the pantry (or what I've got to get rid of in fridge) and turn those items into a soup.  New Year's Day was crock pot sauerkraut and pork but SM's pretty much finished that up.  (I was wondering if there were soups made with those ingredients.  Yep, there are...but I'm NOT going there.  (shudder))

So Saturday morning I'm looking around to see what have I got.  Lots of potatoes.  OK.  Potatoes then.  Do I want to go chicken stock or milk based?  I pause for a moment.  Seems like every soup I make around here in based in chicken stock.  So how about a chowder?

To tell the truth, I've never made a chowder before.  I helped my sister-in-law, Yvonne, with a clam chowder once when we visited her in New Hampshire on a cold Fall day.  Chowder it is then.

So I poke around the pantry.  SM is the shopper around here.  You never know what he's bought.  Hey, lookie there.  A can of clams, crab meat and oysters.  The clams and crab I'll use but I hate oysters so if SM wants them he can put them in his own soup.

Hmm, do I have any fish?  Yep.  Trader Joe's to the rescue again.  SM must've bought this cod.  I know it wasn't me.

OK then.  A Seafood Chow-da.

I've got the milk, butter, carrots, corn and the tender bits of some celery.  Salt, pepper, Old Bay seasoning. 

No onion though.  How can I NOT have onion?  (So I did run to the store and picked up some green onions especially for this soup.) 

Sunday morning arrives and I'm cooking soup by 8am.  Do I follow a recipe?  No, not really.  Soup is easy.  Put in it what you like and there you are.

So I break out my Dutch Oven and toss about 3/4 of a stick of butter along with a splash of veggie oil.  Chop the celery, onion and grate the carrot. 


Toss it in and melt it down.  Meanwhile, I dice up some russet potato (2) with the skins on, and pull out some frozen corn.

Toss that all into the pot to soften up.  Open the cans of seafood and cube up the fish.  In that goes (along with the juice from the can).  Salt to taste, lots of pepper and a generous plop of Old Bay.

Geez, it's smelling good now!

I always wait till last to add milk to a soup.  Nothing worse than burnt milk!  So after everything is cooked down (about 15 min), I turn down the heat to the lowest setting and pour in the milk.  Probably around 4 cups or so.  Just enough to make it soup thickness.  Then I cover it and let it cook on low for another 15-20 min.

By this time SM is wandering out.  "What are you cooking?  I can smell it all the way in the bedroom."  He wanders over and lifts the lid. 

"Clam Chowder!" He crows.

"Seafood Chowder.  Crab, clams and cod."  I tell him looking at the ambrosia I whipped up in less than an hour.  Seriously folks, it's THAT easy!

"No oysters?"  SM inquires, knowing my aversion to them.

"You can put your own oysters in your own bowl."  I say, making a face.

"Damn right I will."  SM  replies, giving me a good morning hug and kiss.

I can't stand it though...I've got to taste it NOW, so I spoon some up and let it cool off a bit.

Wow.  Is this good or what?  Now that's a nice way to start off my day!


  1. Oh MAN!! I so want to lick the bowl. Once the diet's off, the Chow-da is ON!!!

  2. Looks and sounds delicious :)

    My favorite soup is Avgolemono - simple and very tasty :)

    Enjoy :)

  3. Oh, my! That looks sooooo good, I can almost smell it. Any left? How many hours will it take for me to drive to your southern clime? Thanks for the posting. Yumyumyum.