Monday, January 31, 2011

it's cold outside

It's supposed to freezing rain all night.  All day tomorrow.  All through Wednesday.

And it's weather like this that calls for a good, warm soup.  I was inspired by Throw Down with Bobby Flay where they had a salmon chowder throw down (in the Pacific Northwest, yeah!) and this food blog that I LOVE.  I had salmon in the freezer and a bunch of beautiful root vegetables in my vegetable basket, so I thought I'd make my own version ... and yes, fresh salmon is better, but we're in the Midwest here.  Definitely miss the Northwest when it comes to seafood.  Particularly the salmon.

Anyway, this soup was perfect for a cold, wintry day.  I kept it pretty brothy, but still creamy.  I love a good, thick clam chowder.  But once in a while, I like a cleaner taste and texture.  So there you go.  My attempt at salmon chowder.

Creamy Salmon soup with root vegetables
1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 turnip, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1.5 lbs fingerling potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped fine
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
6 C stock (if you have seafood stock, use it.  If not, do what I did.  Whatever is in your freezer/pantry--other than beef.  This is not the time for beef stock)
1 C cream
salt and pepper to taste
3 large salmon fillets, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
minced parsley, for garnish
  1. In a large dutch oven, cook the bacon until crisp.  Drain all but 1 tablespoon of the rendered fat, add the onions and cook until softened.  Add the garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add all of the rutabaga, turnip, potatoes, stock, and salt and pepper to taste.  Throw in the thyme and rosemary whole and put the lid on top.  Turn the heat to medium-low and let simmer until vegetables are tender.
  2. Remove thyme and rosemary (most of the leaves should have fallen off in the soup) and discard.  Add the salmon and cream.  Let gently simmer until Salmon is just cooked through.  Remove from heat and serve.  Garnish with parsley, if you want.  (obviously, I didn't have any fresh parsley in my fridge ... so sad!)

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