Soups, Chowders and Stews - Recipes

Desert Lil's Delicacies - A DUSA Food Feature

Soups, stews and chowders are favorite wintertime dishes. They can be easy to prepare, nutritious and delicious. They are especially delightful during cold spells in the deserts and mountains.

Soup preparation can be as complicated or simple as we wish, depending on our own inclinations. The best soups are concocted from homemade stocks of meats and vegetables, which serious cooks distill with great care and pride. For now, let's define some of the terms associated with our topic, then prepare 3 quick and easy such dishes.

  • Soup: A liquid food, with or without solid particles, usually made by cooking meat, fish, vegetables, etc. in water or milk
  • Vegetable Soups: all vegetables, or prepared with meat or fish stocks in which vegetables predominate
  • Cream Soups: cream, butter, egg or cereal-thickened soups, often pureed
  • Jellied Soups: made from gelatinous knucklebones, clarified and used as they are, or supplemented with gelatin
  • Bisques: shell-fish based cream soups
  • Chowders: Thick fish, meat or vegetable soups to which milk is usually added
  • Gumbo: A soup thickened with okra pods which usually contains vegetables, meat and/or seafood
  • Stew: A meat and/or vegetable dish prepared by stewing (simmering for a long time in a small amount of water)
  • Broths: Clear liquors from meat, fowl, fish and vegetables
  • Stock: Juices made and saved from meat and vegetable stewing, called bases or fonds by the French
  • Bouillon: Concentrated brown stock
  • Consommé: Clarified, double strength brown stock

Very Chickeny Soup

  • 1 medium-sized chicken
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 Tbs chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Rinse and place whole chicken in 4-5 quart pot full of water. Bring to boil and simmer gently for 1 hour, then remove from stove and place over night in the refrigerator. The following day spoon solidified chicken fat from the top of the pot, remove chicken, de-bone and cut into 1-inch square pieces while broth is heating. Bring to boil, add chopped carrot, celery, salt, pepper and parsley, then simmer for 30 minutes. Return diced chicken to pot for an additional 10 minutes and serve.

Curried Lentil Stew

  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 lb lentils
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbs cumin
  • 1 Tbs coriander
  • 2 Tbs tumeric
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped

Sauté chopped onions and garlic in olive oil for 3-5 minutes. Empty lentils into 4-5 quart pan, fill with water and rinse twice. Fill 3/4 to top add sautéed onions and garlic then boil slowly for 1 1/2 hours. Add carrot, spices, soy sauce, and additional water if necessary, simmering for another 30 minutes. Serve with a dollop of yogurt, garnished with mint.

Fish Chowder Tarragon

  • 3 Tbs cooking oil
  • 3 lbs potatoes, cubed in 1-inch squares
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cup milk
  • 1 cup canned or frozen corn
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp tarragon
  • 1 lb red snapper or any other white fish
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Butter

In 4-5 quart pan, sauté onion in oil 3-5 minutes. Add diced potatoes, then fill with water until they are just covered. Boil 20-30 minutes until potatoes are falling apart and most of the water has dissipated without sticking to the bottom.

Add salt, Worcestershire sauce, corn and tarragon, simmering for 15 minutes, then add whole fish, simmering another 15 minutes, gently breaking up fish with stirring. Serve with a pad of butter and fresh ground pepper.



Complete Index of Desert Lil's Delicacies


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