Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder

Ah, soup.  I am such a fan.  It is easy to prepare, does not require difficult-to-get ingredients and can be whipped up in a matter of minutes (depending on the soup).  It’s filling, without being fattening, and can be flavoured and bulked-out with just about anything you have lying around the place.  Just bung it in, blend it up and hey presto! You have soup.  Or some weird-flavoured water (depending on the “anything” you bunged in).

Tonight I had a hankering for corn chowder.  I don’t know why.  It just appeared in my brain and took hold and made me desire its smokey, corny goodness beyond all other food stuffs.  I don’t make it very often.  Pretty much never.  The first time I ever made it was in catering class in high school.  I think I have made it three times in my entire life.  But it’s so yummy!  And filling and satisfying and feels like a meal rather than some sort of dietary punishment.  It never looks very attractive though.  Corn Chowder resembles, at best, dog vomit.  In fact, I hesitated when naming this blog post.  I wanted to call it “Corn Chunder” but I am far too mature for such a title.  I apologise if you are eating right now but, seriously, was there ever a more unattractive looking soup?

So my photo below is another fail.  I’m not even going to bother blaming it on bad lighting (even though the lighting in my kitchen is rubbish).  Let’s just ignore the picture and get on with the taste.  It’s yummy.  Delish. Tasty.

So here’s my recipe.  As always, for all my soup recipes, it is a bit approximate in terms of amounts used.  Again, just bung it in. I have, as is necessary for me, made this vegetarian, but substitute (if you must) real bacon etc.

Corn Chowder 

1 large onion, diced
4 rashers of vegetarian bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon plain flour
1 potato, peeled and diced into roughly 1cm cubes
375ml can of evaporated milk + 2 canfuls of water – one mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of stock powder + one mixed with flour
2 cups frozen (or fresh) corn kernels
Chopped parsley

Method

Saute the onion in a bit of oil (I used sunflower) in a large saucepan  until soft.
Add bacon and fry for a minute (don’t let it brown).
Add milk and extra cans of water (with stock and flour).  Bring to a gentle boil (keep your eye on it) and add potato.  Keep stirring – the milk can burn or boil over so keep it simmering rather than rapid boiling.  Keep stirring for about 10 minutes until potato is tender (but not super squishy).  Add corn kernels and chopped parsley.

Continue simmering for about 5 mins.  Take off heat and take out a ladle or two of the chunky bits.  Give the remaining soup a bit of a blend with an upright stick blender (or whatever you have).  Don’t puree it until it’s smooth – this is supposed to be a chunky chowder!  Add the removed ingredients back into the pot and stir.  If it is too thick for your liking, you can add a half-cup of water if you wish.

Serve hot in bowls – garnish with parsley if desired.

Enjoy!  (just don’t look at it and you’ll be fine) 🙂

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Carrot, Ginger and Honey Soup

Carrot, Ginger and Honey Soup

Another Sunday night has rolled around and I am in my usual state of panic about all that I haven’t achieved over the weekend.  I had such plans but they fell by the wayside as I ended up spending time with friends instead.  Which was lovely and I am by no means complaining.  At all.  But I sometimes despair at my lack of organisational skills and inability to follow plans.  Or to even make them to begin with.  Never mind, time spent with friends as wonderful as mine is never a waste of time and I have done lots of well-needed talking, venting and just interacting with other human beings.  It’s been a bit of a emotionally heavy week and by Friday I was not in a good way.
When you find yourself sitting on the floor, sobbing your eyes out whilst watching a movie, you know that maybe you need some emotional support and care.
When that movie is something as dreadful as “Eat, Pray, Love”, there is no hope for you and you must seek help.  Quickly.  Go now!

But I tried hard to get a few things done this weekend so I wouldn’t feel guilty by Monday morning.  I painted and varnished a few more of the little blobby wooden brooches (which seem to get worse the more I paint so I am stopping now and relinquishing all hope of ever being good at painting. Even if it’s just blobs of paint, I still manage to make them messy blobs).  I made some earrings and finished off a bracelet for my friend K, worked on some sketches for another project I have in the works, and started putting together a few bits for a craft swap I am doing.

This evening I thought it would be a good idea to make some dishes that I could divide up and freeze, to see me through the week at work so I never have that late night panic about what I am going to eat the next day.  I made Tofu Burgers, a mushroom and eggplant risotto (based on the recipe HERE) and this yummy soup (recipe courtesy of Real Living magazine) which was very simple to make and surprisingly delicious.  Well, not THAT surprising – I mean, what’s not to love about carrot, ginger and honey as a combination?  Yum!  Anyway, the soup simmered away as the burgers and risotto baked in the oven and now all I have to do is clear the kitchen up.  Ugh.  That’s the worst part about cooking – the mess that comes with it.  Never mind, you should try this soup as it is basically a one pot wonder and very tasty, healthy and doesn’t have too many ingredients.

Carrot, Ginger and Honey Soup

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp olive oil
1 brown onion, diced
2 tbsp grated fresh root ginger
500g carrots, peeled & chopped roughly
1 tbsp mild-flavoured honey
1 lemon, juiced (I must admit I didn’t use lemon in mine – I didn’t have any!  I put a tablespoon or so
of white wine vinegar in instead to add some zing – it seemed to work well but next time I will use lemon…)
Salt & ground black pepper
400ml boiling water (I used vegetable stock and omitted the salt above)
40g butter, diced
Handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

METHOD

Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook for about 5 mins, or until soft and translucent.

Add ginger and cook for a further 2 mins. Stir well. Add carrots, honey, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Stir.

Add boiling water to soup ingredients. Reduce heat to low and cook for 35 mins.

Transfer to blender. Drop in butter cubes and blend until smooth and creamy.

Serve in mugs or bowl with a sprinkling of chopped parsley on the top.

Enjoy!
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PS The bowl was one of a set I bought at the op-shop yesterday (more on that later) for only 25 cents a piece.  Crazy price but lovely little bowls (which will help me with my portion control which has, of late, become rather uncontrolled).  I wasn’t going to keep them for myself but I rather like them and they’re my favourite combination of colour – blue and brown – so they will most likely stay with me.
Hope you all had a lovely weekend, spent with friends and family and yummy things to eat 🙂
Noooooooooo! I’m not allowed to get sick!!!

Noooooooooo! I’m not allowed to get sick!!!

Ugh.  I think I am getting a cold.  I hardly ever get them and, when I do, I am quite pathetic.  Sniffly and moany and pathetic.  I think I hate the time they waste.  When you’re sick you can’t do anything constructive and you just want to curl up in a ball and die, loudly with lots of complaining and coughing.  Right now I feel a bit hot in the face and my throat is dry and scratchy.  I have loaded myself up with Vitamin C, Garlic and Horseradish.  I hate bought throat lozenges and will be making myself soup for dinner (capsicum with added horseradish and ginger and garlic – it is possible no one will want to come near me for a few days).  I am drinking lemon and ginger tea and am about to pour a jar of honey down my throat.  Ugh.  I think I am even more pathetic now I am on my own – not that hubby was particularly good at playing nursey but it is always better to have someone around to fetch you tissues and get you hot water bottles and look sympathetic.

However, I shall try not to give in to the lurgy.  I have one more day of my short holiday left and I do not want to waste it.  I have had a few nice days of crafting with my Mum and I don’t want to stop now that I am back home again.  Today we went to a big craft show at the show grounds and had a great time – but I will update you on that next post.  The days before were spent collaging and playing with clay at my Mum’s.  We had been wanting to make some clay ornaments and beads for some time and decided this would be the week we made a commitment to do so.  We soon learned we are lacking in sculpting skills and probably had visions of elaborate finished pieces that were way beyond our actual abilities.  Never mind, we had fun and made a mess which is the important bit 🙂

I made a few round beads that I want to paint once they are dry.  I also made some pendants (again, faces) and a brooch and a little “L.O.V.E” statue that I think is kinda cute.  They all need to be sanded a bit and/or painted and varnished.  Fun!  Time-consuming!  Messy!  But definitely fun.

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Little L.O.V.E statue.  (you can’t see the word very clearly here but it is near the bottom.
Speaking of bottoms, she has one.  A butt that is!..but you can’t see that either here)

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“Goddess” brooch

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“Face” beads and pendant…

Now I have to unpack all my bags (I’ve been staying at Mum’s and I always overpack) and find my house under all the rubble.  I want to be ready to get up early tomorrow, possibly go for a walk if I can get motivated enough and then do a solid day’s crafting as I won’t get to do any for a while due to pesky work commitments (so inconvenient this work business!).  I also plan on eating the fudge I bought at the craft show in a moment of weakness.  I want to get back onto my healthy eating so will have to consume the fudge quickly so as not to ruin my healthy week.  That’s my story and I am sticking to it.  Fudge is good for sore throats, right?

Hope you are having a great weekend, free from lurgies and full of fun and fabulousness! 🙂