October is Soup Month

by marilynk

When autumn hits I crave cozy, warm foods and soup is one of my favourites. There’s just something so appealing about a big bowl of goodness on a blustery day. Soup is also a great way to process some of your harvest bounty for the coming cold months. I generally make big batches and freeze the bulk of it – I’m a big fan of cooking once to eat for a bunch of meals. All of the recipes are basically doubled so there’s enough to freeze. Adjust your amounts accordingly!

This month I made 3 different soups: Roasted Corn and Scallop Chowder, Roasted Tomato and Roasted Garlic Soup, and Quick and Easy Borscht. Everything was made with at least some ingredients from EOGG and the tomatoes came from my parents’ garden. There’s a lot of recipe in this post, so I’ll just get to it:

Roasted Corn and Scallop Chowder (adapted from Meals Made Easy by Real Simple Magazine)*

Chow-dah!

Chow-dah!

  • 5 slices bacon
  • 2 small yellow onions, thinly sliced into half-moons
  • 1 tsp thyme (from EOGG)
  • 1 lb potatoes (Yukon Gold is recommended, but I used a few different varieties from EOGG)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock**
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups corn kernels, roasted on the BBQ, then cut from the cob*** (from EOGG)
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 4 sea scallops per person
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (for serving)

Fry the bacon in a large stock pot over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. You should have about 2 Tbs of drippings in the pan (you can supplement with olive oil, but I ended up with about 3 Tbs which was plenty to cook the onions). Add the onion to the pan and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and stir until fragrant. Add the potatoes, wine, broth, and cream. Bring to a simmer. Cover partially and simmer gently until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Add the corn and cook another 4 minutes.

You can freeze the chowder at this point. When you’re going to eat the chowder, follow the rest of the directions:

Heat about 2 Tbs of olive oil or bacon drippings in a skillet on medium high. Rinse the scallops and pat them dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. Add some of the scallops to the pan, being careful not to crowd them. Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Once the potatoes are cooked through, add the scallops and cook for 4 minutes. Ladle into bowls and serve sprinkled with the parsley and crumbled bacon and with a nice loaf of bread to sop up the broth.

*All amounts are doubled except the bacon (5 slices seemed like plenty, even for a double batch), the corn (I had 6 ears, so I used them all), and the scallops (the single recipe calls for 16 for 4 servings). I don’t like freezing the scallops in the chowder because they get over cooked when you reheat it. If you’re making a single batch, you can cook the scallops in the bacon drippings, then keep them aside until after the potatoes are done. The rest of the recipe is the same.
**When I don’t have homemade stock, I use Kitchen Basics Unsalted Cooking Stock. It comes in a tetra pak and is available at Safeway stores in Edmonton. It’s the only stock I’ve found that is actually low in sodium – it only has 156 mg/250 mL serving.
***You can also use frozen corn kernels.

Roasted Tomato and Roasted Garlic Soup (inspired by recipes in The Enchanted Broccoli Forest by Mollie Katzen)

This soup is ready for freezing.

This soup is ready for freezing.

  • 4 cups roasted tomatoes (from M&D’s garden)*
  • 3 heads roasted garlic (from EOGG)
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 Tbs honey (you won’t taste the honey, but it cuts the acidity of the tomatoes)
  • 2 cups low-sodum chicken stock
  • Optional: 1 Tbs cream cheese per person

To roast the tomatoes, preheat the oven to 425° F, line a cookie sheet with tin foil, wash the tomatoes, slice in half and remove the seeds (I was too lazy to seed the tomatoes – it just means your soup won’t be as smooth). Arrange the tomatoes on the cookie sheet, cut sides up, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until soft and wrinkled, about 40 minutes. Let cool.**

The garlic can be roasted at the same time. Clean up the garlic heads and remove the outer layers of skin (keeping the skins around each clove intact). Cut off about 1/2″ from the top of the bulbs and place on a piece of tin foil. Drizzle with olive oil, making sure the cloves are well coated. wrap the foil around to cover and seal the garlic in. Roast about 25 minutes. Let cool.**

Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, basil, and rosemary and stir until the herbs smell fragrant. Add the roasted garlic by squeezing each clove so the roasted flesh comes out of the skin. Stir to combine with the onions and herbs. Add the wine and be sure to scrape all the yummy goodness off the bottom of the pan. Add the honey and chicken stock. Bring the soup to a boil, then turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. Take the soup off the heat and puree with a stick blender or in small batches in a traditional blender or food processor.

You can freeze the soup at this point.

This soup is delicious and smooth as it is at this point and can be served as is. For a silky-smooth cream of tomato stir about a Tbs of cream cheese (cutting it into cubes helps it melt faster) into each person’s bowl. I like this best when served with either garlic bread or a classic grilled cheese for dipping.

*Sorry! I honestly don’t know how many I started with, but there were enough small-medium tomatoes to fill my cookie sheet once halved.
**This step can be done ahead of time.

Quick and Easy Borscht (modified slightly from More-with-Less by Doris Janzen Longacre)

  • 1/2 head cabbage, sliced
  • 2 small yellow onions, sliced
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 4 medium beets, roasted and chopped (from EOGG)*
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • sour cream (for serving)

I had never made borscht before, but I had gorgeous ones from EOGG that needed to be used. I have to say, this is one of the most dead-easy recipes I’ve ever made. Combine the cabbage, onions, and water in a large stock pot and cook over medium heat about 10 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients except the sour cream. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer about 15 minutes.

You can freeze the soup at this point.

Top each serving with about 2 Tbs of sour cream and serve with a nice dark rye bread.

*I roasted my beets by peeling them, then coating them in olive oil, salt, and pepper. I wrapped them up in tin foil and roast at 425° F for about 30 min. This part can be done ahead of time.

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