Chef Becky’s Potato Chowder

The past two summer days here in the Northwest have been, well, chilly. What do we eat when it’s cool outside. Soup. This chowder is the ultimate comfort food, in my opinion, it is full of flavor, simple to prepare and makes one gallon of soup. Usually one gallon would be plenty to serve my what-is-getting-to-be-normal sized family of six for two meals, but someone (ahem, my only brother at home) came home hungry.

So for dinner the following night, I stretched what soup remained (about four cups) with additional milk and cream. Ev cooked me up one red potato and Mom had an extra piece of salmon cooked up, so I added them in along with some corn and some cooked broccoli to turn it into a sort of salmon chowder. It turned out to be delicious!

This is my most-made recipe from my time at Sno-Isle’s Le Bistro.

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Chef Becky’s Potato Chowder
Ingredients:
8 oz bacon, finally chopped, (I usually just use the entire package)
1 lb onions, brunoise (1/8″ cubes)
4 oz all-purpose flour
2 quarts chicken stock
2 1/2 lbs potatoes, small dice (1/4″ cubes)
1 quart milk, hot,
1 quart heavy cream, hot (I usually don’t use the full amount of cream. Start with 3 cups)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
Worcestershire sauce, to taste

Directions:
In a stock pot, over medium heat, cook the bacon until most of the fat has rendered, but before bacon becomes crisp.
Add onions and cook until tender. Add flour and make a roux, cooking for 4-5 minutes.
Whisk in the chicken stock slowly and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, bring stock down to a simmer. Add potatoes and simmer until tender.
Add hot milk and cream, stirring to blend.
Add seasoning, adjusting as necessary.

Makes 1 gallon
Corn Chowder Variation:
Reduce potatoes to 2 lbs. Add 2 lbs of frozen corn when potatoes are tender.

Salmon Chowder Variation:
Use combination of redand russet potatoes, add corn and cooked salmon to completed chowder.

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Split Pea Soup

This is one of those recipes that always sounds disgusting, but it is so delicious, warm and comforting.

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Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups dry green split peas
8 cups cold water
8 teaspoons chicken bouillon
1 meaty  ham bone (optional)
1 cup onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
2 cups carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup corn

Directions:
Rinse peas.
In a large pot combine the peas, water, chicken bouillon, ham bone, onions, pepper and marjoram.  Bring to
a boil.  Reduce heat.  Cover and simmer one hour, stirring occasionally.
Remove ham bone.  Cut off meat and return it to the pot.
Add carrots, celery and corn.
Cover and simmer 30 minutes.  Season.

Chicken Noodle Soup

This soup on a cold winter day with warm biscuits is probably the best. 

Ingredients:
8 cups chicken broth
3 celery rib , sliced
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 cup corn (or more)
basil
pepper
2 cups chicken, cooked and chopped
pasta (to look)

Directions:
Bring broth, veggies and spices to a boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes.  Add chicken and noodles and cook till noodles are soft.

Lasagna Soup

My new favorite soup. This is a spicy, filling and delicious cold and leftover when the pasta has absorbed all of the broth. This is also a super easy recipe to make!

Ingredients: 
 Soup:
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds Italian sausage (I used grounds sausage)
3 cups onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (28 ounces) can diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
6 cups chicken stock
8 ounces pasta (I like penne)
fresh basil (optional)
mushrooms, chopped (optional)
Cheesy Yum:
1/2 cup basic leaves , chopped
8 ounces ricotta cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch pepper
mozzarella cheese, grated
meatballs (cooked and quartered) (optional, I’ve done this soup more times without that with)

Directions:
Heat oil in large pot.  Add sausage and cook until brown. Add onions and cook until softened.  Add garlic,
oregano, red pepper flakes an fresh basil (if using). Add tomato paste and cook until tomato paste turns a rusty brown color.
Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, mushrooms (if using), meatballs (if using) and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add uncooked past and cook until done.
While pasta is cooking, mix together basil, ricotta, Parmesan, salt and pepper together.
Serve topped with mozzarella cheese and yummy cheese mixture.
Notes: cook pasta separately if planning on serving hours later.