Sea Bass Stew

Its that time of year… winter is a great time to cook warm hearty soups. This one is quick and easy. Also Cherry Valley Market has been having Italian loaves on sale for $1.29 for a pair on Fridays.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 lb sea bass filets, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup of fresh chopped tomato (about 1 medium sized tomato)
  • 1 cup of chopped onions
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 8 oz of clam juice
  • 1/2 cup Duck Walk white wine
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • Touch of dry oregano, Tabasco, thyme, pepper
  • Salt

Heat olive oil in heavy large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and garlic and sauté 4 minutes. Add parsley and stir 2 minutes. Add tomato and tomato paste, and gently cook for 10 minutes or so.

Add clam juice, dry white wine, and fish and simmer until fish is cooked through, less than 10 minutes. Add seasoning. Salt to taste. Ladle into bowls and serve with toasted Italian bread.

bluefish bikini

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Vegitarian Lentil Soup 01

A friend of mine stopped over yesterday; because her water wasn’t working right she came over to soak some lentils, quinoa, and rice. It got me thinking that I haven’t made lentil soup in a while. Now that the fall weather is approaching, I feel more ‘soup days’ approaching. I like nice thick hearty soups on cool day and lentil soup is one of the very few soups that I make which is vegetarian friendly.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups rinsed and drained French Lentils
  • 3 med sized carrots
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes
  • 1/2 a yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Boquet garni

  • 1 Tablespoon dried tarragon
  • Few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Few sprigs of fresh oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon black peppercorn balls

Peel and cut carrots diagonally about 1/4 inch thick. Peel and mince garlic. Chop onion and tomatoes. Add oil to large pot over medium heat. Sauté onions and carrots until they start to brown a little. Add tomatoes, paprika. Stir and cook covered for a few minutes. Then add water, Worcestershire sauce, lentils, salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil.

While soup heats to a boil, you can prepare your seasoning packet! Double two layers of cheese cloth large enough to contain herbs. Place 2 bay leaves, black peppercorn balls and sprigs of fresh herbs in the center of the cloth and tie up. Add herb packet to pot and cook covered for 45 minutes – 1 hour or until lentils are tender.

If the soup looks too thin, uncover and simmer for a couple more minutes. If it looks too thick, add a touch more water. Serve with good, crusty bread!

french lentil soup

french lentil soup

Comfort Soup – Crab Corn Chowder with … Bacon!

I know, I hear you; I’m bringing back the bacon. As winter sets in, although it’s been pretty darn mild around here lately, and that’s not helping the ‘comfort food’ theme we have going on here, thick hearty soups are often on the stove. Here on the Island, with sales on crab meat going on, its time for some crab – corn chowder with a bit of… you asked for it… bacon!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 rashers bacon
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 2 cups diced red potato
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 (5-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 pound lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed
  • Chopped fresh chives

Cook the bacon over medium heat, remember I only use the Western Beef  (add shameless sponsorship plug here lol) thick cut rashers. Add onions; sauté for a minute or so, until tender. Add corn, potatoes, milk, Worcestershire, and thyme; bring this to a boil.

Reduce heat; simmer 30 minutes or until potato is tender.

Combine cornstarch and evaporated milk in a small bowl; stir with a whisk to create slurry.

Add cornstarch slurry to soup to thicken it up; simmer 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms and crab; remove thyme sprig. Ladle into soup bowls; sprinkle with chives.

I enjoy serving this with toasted rye bread and butter.