Thursday, 7 February 2013
We've had a very dry day today, but it is bitterly cold with a strong wind from the North which just bites through you . . . pretty frigid really. The sun almost more than makes up for it though . . . one feels as if they could almost forgive anything when the sun is shining . . .
Sunshine or not, this is the type of day that just begs for a warming soup for supper . . . something filling, and hot . . . a REAL belly-warmer-filler-upper!!! Oh, I do so love Winter food . . . don't you?
A frigid cold day like today calls for a filling chowder . . . just like this corn chowder. A chowder is a thick, creamy milky soup . . . usually made with fish or vegetables. Clam and sea food chowders are very popular where I grew up.
The origins of the word chowder are relatively obscure . . . it is often thought to have originated with the French word "Chaudiere" which was the type of pot first used to cook these warming supper soups in. It is a soup with very strong maritime ties . . . of the North American kind . . . and the French were the first settlers there . . .
It doesn't really matter though . . . how it got it's name or where it originated, it only matters that it tastes good and is comforting on a cold day like today. I like the thought that whether across the ocean in Nova Scotia . . . or here in Chester, I can enjoy a nice hot bowl of corn chowder . . . creamy and milky . . . with lots of bits of corn stirred through, and a nice knob of butter melting on the top.
Me . . . the Canadian girl . . . I like to enjoy it with crisp salted crackers. Italian ones now . . . as that is all I can get over here that are like the Saltines from back home. The Toddster . . . the Brit in him likes it with a thick slice of bread.
Crackers or bread aside . . . this is comfort food . . . plain and simple. I like that.
Makes 4 servings
I have been making this for years and years. It was always one of my children's favourite soups and it quite easy and cheap to make as well. It's one of those very comforting things that seems to enrich your soul as well as feed your belly. I like it with buttered crackers, but Todd, he's so English . . . he wants it with bread.
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped coarsely
2 stalks of celery, trimmed and chopped coarsely(try to include some of the leaves)
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped coarsely
2 ounces of streaky bacon chopped coarsely, or proscuitto
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp summer savoury
2 cups milk
1 14 ounce tin of creamed corn
1 knob of butter
Place the streaky bacon (or proscuitto) into a large saucepan and heat over medium heat. If necessary you may add a bit of butter to keep it from sticking. Once it has begun to brown and render out some of it's fat add the celery, onion, carrots and potatoes. Stir and sweat over medium heat until they begin to soften. Add the water, making sure it covers all the vegetables. Season to taste with some salt and black pepper and add the savoury. Allow to simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the milk and the creamed corn. Gently heat to a simmer without boiling. Adjust the seasoning as necessary. Add the knob of butter and serve in heated bowls with crackers or bread. Delicious!