Kitchen Wit & Wisdom: Soup pot filled with love

Cathi Litzenberger marks her 15th year of sharing her love of food for Morning Star readers with her favourite soup recipes

November has hit us with a blast of cold weather, certainly bringing the coming winter to my attention! I need winter tires put on; the floating dock brought in (might get to this one at the first snow fall); there is wood to split and pile;  gardening stuff to store away, you know the routine; could it be that we’re a tad behind?

I wrote my first Kitchen Wit & Wisdom column this week some 15 years ago, offering two of my favourite soup recipes, and ever since I’ve chosen to offer soup recipes on this anniversary date.

Making soup is the perfect time to transfer positive energy and love into something that will nourish and feed the people you love. If, while you’re making your soup, your mind is on thankfulness, love and positive thoughts, this energy will be stirred right into the mix and those eating it will be nourished physically, emotionally and spiritually, such is the reality of energy, both positive and negative.

If you like clam chowder, you’re sure to enjoy today’s recipe. It has a real full-bodied flavour due to chopping the clams into tiny pieces. The second is a wonderful quinoa vegetarian chowder that is excellent with crusty bread. Enjoy!

Bacon Clam Chowder Soup for Two

1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 medium potato, peeled and cubed

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1 can (6-1/2 ounces) minced clams

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 cup half-and-half cream

1-1/2 teaspoons butter

Dash cayenne pepper

2 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

In a small saucepan, combine the first six ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered, 10-12 minutes or until potato is tender.

Meanwhile, drain clams, reserving juice. Place clams in a small food processor; process until finely chopped.

In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and cream until smooth; stir into pan. Add reserved clam juice. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 2 minutes or until soup is thickened.

Stir in butter, cayenne and clams; heat through. Top servings with bacon. Yield: 3 cups.

vegetable quinoa chowder

6 cups vegetable stock

1 cup uncooked rinsed quinoa

1 cup cubed potatoes

1/2 cup chopped carrots

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 large chopped onion

1 cup uncooked red or green lentils

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 cups frozen or fresh kernel corn

Salt and pepper, to taste

4 cups milk

2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Simmer together vegetable stock, quinoa, potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, lentils and garlic for 30 to 40 minutes until lentils are tender. Add corn and simmer briefly. Season to taste.

Shortly before serving, blend in milk and cheese, and heat until just hot. Serve with crusty bread.

Cathi Litzenberger is The Morning Star’s longtime food columnist, appearing every Wednesday and one Sunday per month.