Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Joy of Soup

I am late to writing.  The early morning rain woke up my spouse, and we decided to make some fish chowder.  We needed to go to the grocery store, and on the way, we filled up the car--between the holiday break and the fuel efficiency of our Prius C, it had been almost a month between fuelings.  Amazing.

So, he will have fish chowder for lunch, and I will have some tonight when I return home after work and spin class.  There's something so comforting about knowing that a bowl of soup awaits one.  He will be at rehearsal with the Broward Chorale--yes, it's time for rehearsals again.  Time zooms on.

One thing that startles me about the death of David Bowie is to realize that he was 19 years older than I am. I think about what was going on in my life 19 years ago, and it doesn't seem that long ago.  I will be 69 sooner than I want to think.

For those of you still wanting to read David Bowie tributes, I recommend this one on the NPR Music site.  But I digress.

There are times when I feel like we've fallen through a hole in time--here we are, still making pots of soup against the chill, still getting ready for our classes, still rejoicing when we find good deals at the grocery store.

But of course, things have changed.  My spouse is smoking the fish with his hand-held smoker--what a fun, little tool.  Last night we took some smoked cheese to a friend's house--delicious.

And now it the rains begin again.  How wonderful to have a pot of soup waiting at the end of any day--but especially a chilly, dreary January day.

And if you want your own free-form chowder, here's what to do, with variations, in case you don't want to go to the grocery store.

Seafood Chowder

If you've got a jar or two of clam juice or lobster juice, put them in a pot.  Add a few cups of water.  My spouse also added some beer--white wine would also be good.  I like these spices:  basil, oregano, a bay leaf or two.  Garlic would be great, as would a chopped onion, sautéed separately in butter.

Dice a potato or two or three or four.  Let them steam/boil in the water.  They don't have to be covered.

Cut some white fish into bite size pieces.  Or use any fish you like, including cans of tuna or salmon.  Shrimp would also be good.  A can of clams would work too.  Add those to the pot.  Bring down the heat so that the liquid simmers.  Add some frozen corn.

Towards the end, add enough milk/cream/half and half to make the soup a chowder.  If it's not thick enough, whisk in some flour.  If it's too thick, add more milk/cream/half and half.  Heat it all to a piping hot temperature, being careful not to curdle the dairy.

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