February 27, 2011

Quick Saturday Soups revisited

Actually, this soup is better if it is not too quick. Better if a chore or telephone call interrupts the momentum and gives it a chance to simmer a little longer before the cod is added at the end.

Yesterday was the second time I've made the soup. The first time I made it, I called it Yukon Cajun Cod Chowder based on (1) it was made with gold potatoes; (2) I used a generous dollop of Cajun spices (sans salt); it was cod soup; and the result looked as creamy as a chowder (though there were no milk products in it at all. And then, I kind of like the sound of the name: Yukon Cajun Cod Chowder.

I've given up on the name. Yesterday, busy beavers that we were, I completely forgot about the Cajun seasonings that I had been so proud of earlier (until we were sitting down to eat and A asked me about the ingredients...............).

I still think of it as a cod chowder though some will take issue with calling it a chowder since it contains no cream nor other milk product. However, I (and as it happens, Wikipedia) define chowder more broadly to include thickened seafood soups, etc.

How is it thickened? Two ways: (1) the first potatoes added are cooked until soft enough to easily blend (I used our hand held immersion blender); and (2) by the addition of about a 1/3 of a 2.75 oz packet of peppered gravy mix containing no lard or meat by products.

For two people, I used
generous splash of olive oil (I added a little more when I added the potatoes)
a little less than 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped small
1 medium carrot, chopped small
1 stalk celery, chopped small
1 clove garlic, chopped small
4-5 medium gold potatoes, cubed, four at the outset reserving one for adding later
5 cups or so broth (I used some kale broth we had saved earlier as well as a cube of vegan veggie bouillon (no salt added)
double pinch of cayenne (or to taste)
lots of fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
pinch of kosher salt
1/3 of packet of dry peppered gravy mix (no meat by products)
cod fillet, cut into 2-3 inch pieces
serve with low sodium saltine crackers

Saute the onion, carrot, celery mixture until softened, add all the potatoes but one (and additional olive oil if the potatoes begin to stick) and saute briefly (minute or so) before adding the broth and let simmer for at least 20-30 minutes before adding the reserved potato and let cook about 10 minutes before adding the gravy mix (I mixed it with a bit of water before adding to avoid lumps). Once the soup has simmered a bit (I simmered it a good 15-20 minutes longer than I think necessary but it may have actually helped) add the fresh cod (or if earlier frozen, the thawed cod), bring to a boil, put a lid on and shut off the fire. Let set for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Goes well with a bottle of the last of the St. Arnold winter stout.

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