Saturday, December 05, 2009

Return of Saturday Soups...and More!

My husband and I began decorating for Christmas right around Thanksgiving. We are not really trying to rush the season--it's just that with us both (mostly) retired, we can do things on our own schedule.

Today, we finished up with the last touches on the Christmas tree. It began snowing in the morning, and all day a light gentle snow fell--not enough to accumulate, but enough to give a cheery Christmas look to the outdoors. Trees both indoor and out are decorated.

So, herewith, the pics, and then soup--I promise.

Now to soup. Tomorrow is our church's annual Soup Bistro. I have written about this topic before, explaining that everything is donated--the supplies, and the volunteer time. The beneficiary is a local organization that helps people in need.

We made the New England Fish Chowder--yum. Lots of chunky vegetables, and fish (of course) along with whole milk and cream. Oh, oh, oh. . .

Tomorrow we will be tired--but tonight we are happy.



8 bacon slices, chopped
2 large onions, chopped
1 Tbsp. dried thyme
2 bay leaves
4 cups seafood stock or clam juice
1 tsp. saffron threads **
2 cups diced peeled white potatoes (1/2 inch dice)
3 cups diced peeled butternut squash (1/2 inch dice)
1 lb. chopped frozen kale
5 cups whole milk
1 cup half and half
2 tsps. salt
3 lbs. mixed fresh white fish, cut into ¾-inch pieces.


Saute chopped bacon in heavy soup pot until fully cooked and all fat is rendered. Remove bacon from pot and discard bacon fat, leaving only a small amount of fat for sautéing onions.

Add onions to the pot and sauté til soft, about 5 minutes. Add thyme and bay leaf and stir over low heat. Add seafood stock and saffron and bring to a simmer.

Carefully place potatoes and butternut squash cubes into the hot broth. Bring the broth just back to a simmer. Add chopped frozen kale. Immediately add the milk, the half and half, and the salt. Add bacon back into the soup. Bring to a low simmer.

Add fish pieces to soup and turn off heat immediately. Simmer until all the ingredients are cooked through.

** On the off chance you don't buy saffron threads every week, I would suggest you can skip these. A small portion--a teeny tiny amount in a regular spice bottle--cost us about $15 in a local grocery store. I gulped, but bought it anyway. Since it adds just a touch of flavor, and mostly is used for the yellow color--I would say. . .skip it. Really.


Jayne said...

Pretty, pretty Christmas decorations! :c)

Anvilcloud said...

The Christmasy tour was great, especially with the snow.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Your decorations are so lovely and tasteful. I would expect no less.

Oh! how I love creamy New England Clam Chowder eaten with the required oyster crackers. I ate a lot of it the years I lived in Boston. Once on a visit to the area I rushed to Harvard Square to my favourite Clam Chowder House only to find it was no more. Sometimes it is best to keep the past in your memory.

possumlady said...

Sorry! Am late in commenting here. Not much of a seafood chowder person but love your decorations! I especially love the photos catching the falling snow.

Unknown said...

Donna, thanks again for your insight and encouragement when commenting on my blog. I appreciate it so much, believe me. I also just happened to notice when looking over your profile that you listed "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men" as a favorite book. Wow! Usually hardly anyone I know has ever even heard of that book, but here you are, with my same name and my same obscure, favorite book! I have a B.A. and some credits toward a graduate degree, but that book was never required reading for any classes I took. I discovered it when looking for books about B&W photography several years ago. As a newspaper reporter for several years, I shot tons of B&W's and wrote a zillion non-fiction stories. I was always interested in other peoples' work in those areas. The Great Depression era has always been a source for inspiring stories. Agee's writing just grabbed me, and of course the photos by Evans are equally moving. Anyway, I'd like to hear your thoughts about it. And I'm glad you like my shepherd slide show. Every one of those doggies are "mine," in my opinion, even after I sold them. I like my slide show, too. :>) Donna