Saturday, October 24, 2015

Making Soup in Marg's Kitchen

Join me for a day in my kitchen making my favorite soups. I love making hearty soups with chunks of meats and vegetables.  Usually this is a full meal served with fresh home made bread or biscuits.
Creating a large pot of soup allows that unexpected family member to drop by and leave with an appetite that has been satisfied.
Today I am featuring my version of Chef Dez's Bacon & Cheddar Corn Chowder.  I was at one of his cooking shows a few weeks ago and I'm always amazed at how he blends herbs and flavors together making you think that it came right out of your Grandma's kitchen.  I saw him packing up the extra grilled corn cobs.  I was quick to ask him, "What are you doing with the left overs?"  I quickly volunteered that I had a perfect recipe...and would be willing  to take them home and whip up Chef Dez corn chowder soup, using my version instead.  My version is adding more bacon and farmer sausage.
Moral of the story....I got what was coming and could not escape the consequences.  I was asked to cook my version of  the soup and serve the staff at  Grand Pappys. 
I'm also highlighting a few of my favorite soups that you can find on our blog or in our cook book.  This is the best time of the year to make soups with all those fresh garden vegetables that need to be used before the winter storms appear.

Bacon & Corn Chowder

First Step
  • 12 slices bacon
  • 1/4 smoked ring farmer sausage
  • 1 medium onion diced small
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 large celery stalks
  • 4 cups fresh corn kernels
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp. fresh tarragon
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sambal oelek 
Second Step
  • Potatoes  
Third Step
  •  1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups cream
  • 1/2 half red bell pepper diced small
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  1. Cook bacon in large heavy pot over medium high heat until crisp. 
  2. Remove bacon and reserve for garnish later.
  3. Chop all the vegetables sliced thin and add all the ingredients above to the rendered bacon fat in the pot.  The grilled corn added that extra smoked flavor.
  4. Add the chopped farmer sausage to vegetable mixture.
  5. Keep stirring and once the butter is melted, cover and turn down the heat to medium to sweat the vegetables for about 5 minutes. Do not brown the vegetables.
  6. While the vegetables are cooking, peel and cut two large potatoes (diced 1/2 inch) and steam them in water for about 10 minutes. 
  7. Once the vegetables have steamed, remove the lid and stir in the flour.
  8. Cook for about 2-3 minutes to remove starchy taste of flour.
  9. To avoid lumps, stir the milk in gradually to the flour/vegetable mixture and add the cream.
  10.  I chose not to puree the soup.
  11. Add the steamed potatoes, including the potato water. ( I can't waste potato water)
  12. Add the diced bell pepper and parsley.
  13. Bring to a simmer over medium heat stirring often to avoid burning.
  14. Garnish each bowl with remaining chopped parsley and  reserved bacon pieces.
Optional: if you like cheddar cheese you can add 2 cups to this recipe. I opted out! 

One of my favorite tools in the kitchen is a parsley mill. They can be found in any kitchen boutiques.
Enjoy this soup and savor the flavors.  You will want to make this again.

 Green Bean Soup / Gruene Bohnen Suppe

 This bean soup reminds me of the good old days when my Grandma invited us for bean soup.   It's an all time favorite and the secret ingredient for this soup is a small handful of summer savory.

Cabbage Borscht
I purchased a new spice ball and it's plenty big enough but serves many purposes.  I've added fresh beets to this recipe and don't forget to  add a  handful of fresh dill.  Otherwise it's not Borscht!

One more favorite ~ Harvest Corn Chowder

This soup is made with a chicken broth and I have modified this by substituting cooked chicken rather than the farmer sausage and bacon.  This too, makes a delightful meal on a cold winter day.
My favorite cook-wear is Le Crueset.  They were wedding gifts and I have replaced some of my pots after 40 years.

 Add a loaf of your favorite home made bread or biscuits and you are ready to have a full size meal.

What are your favorite kinds of soups?


  1. Hi Marg, the soups look delicious, but I was wondering what sambal oelek is? I have never heard of this. Thanks!

  2. Hi Janina,
    It's an Asian paste made with hot chilli peppers. And you can substitute it by using chilli sauce or add a sprinkle of hot dried chilli spices to the mixture. I bought it a few years ago and use it regularly in spicy dishes. I bought mine in a delicatessen. I have not been able to find it in the big grocery stores. Have fun making soup. Marg

    1. It is available in the large chain grocery stores as well. I buy it at the Asian foods section. Love adding it to sauces for a little zip!

  3. Great post on soups Marg - you featured my favourites. I'm hoping I still have a container of borscht in my freezer for lunch. I'll have to replenish my store and make more soon.

  4. This is a beautiful post on soups Marg. I love all the photos!

  5. her corn chowder soup is the best. its on my "hey mom - do you have that recipe for ... " list.

  6. Your corn chowder soup recipe sounds delicious!

  7. You asked our favorite soups. Mine would be a good split pea or chili. Your perfectly cooked corn looked delicious though!

  8. We have easy access to fresh salmon so salmon chowder from Allrecipes .ca ( minus the cheese and lots of fresh dill) is a fave.

  9. My favorites are marrow bone broth, mushroom and cream soup (no relation to icky canned 'cream of mushroom'!), and pureed Red Kuri (Hokkaido) squash soup. Lentil and spinach with sumac is also an old favorite!

  10. Oh my goodness - my mouth is watering over here! Those soups look so delicious Marg. I need to try them soon.