I fully understand that it is potentially blasphemous for me, as a proud New Englander, to suggest chowder be made without seafood. But this really lovely recipe for a parsnip chowder—it does have potatoes—does that count?
Okay even though no clams or other seafood ar ein this recipe, but I really love this chowder—it is too thick and rich to be a soup. That richness comes from potatoes and parsnips and just a bit of cream, so all this deliciousness doesn't come with a health advisory!
1 1/2 pounds parsnips, peeled
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
1 small Russet potato, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, plus 1 tablespoon for garnish
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine or dry white vermouth
6 cups chicken stock
1 cup light cream or whole milk, as needed
Fresh lemon juice Pinch sugar
Set aside 1 large or 2 small parsnips for the "croutons." Coarsely chop the remaining parsnips.
Heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a soup pot or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and sautê until tender and translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the chopped parsnips, potato, thyme, coriander, and salt and pepper to taste. Sautê, stirring a few times, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Add the wine or vermouth, bring to a boil and reduce by half, about 4 minutes. Add the stock, cover partway, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Continue to simmer until the parsnips and potatoes are tender enough to mash easily against the side of the pot with a large spoon, about 40 minutes.
Let the soup cool, uncovered, for at least 10 minutes (this makes it a little safer to blend). Filling a blender no more than two-thirds full, puree the soup in batches. Rinse out the soup pot and return the pureed soup to it. The soup may be made ahead up to this point and kept refrigerated (well-covered) for up to 2 days.
Meanwhile, make the parsnip “croutons:" cut the reserved parsnip(s) into 1/4-inch dice. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter stops foaming, add the diced parsnips. Season with salt and pepper and a large pinch of sugar. Sautê, stirring and shaking the pan often, until the parsnips are nicely browned. Transfer to paper towel to drain. Set aside until ready to serve. The croutons may also be made ahead and refrigerated in a single layer for up to 1 day.
To serve, gently reheat the soup, adding the cream or milk until you achieve the consistency you're after. Taste for salt and pepper. Just before serving, add a squeeze or fresh lemon juice (from about 1/2 lemon), to taste. Ladle into soup bowl, garnish with parsnip "croutons" and remaining fresh thyme.
___________________________________________________________ Annie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.
Ooh la la have I got a winter warmer that will beckon you in from the cold: French Onion Soup! A classic bowl of oniony goodness that will fill you up, warm you up, and delight you.
Forewarned is fore-armed... you are going to have to slice 3 pounds of onions. If just the thought makes you want to cry, you can use a food processor to get through the pile you'll be using. That being said, it may seem that you have far too many onions, but don't worry they'll cook down to about one-quarter of their original volume.
So, in a wide soup pot, melt butter and slowly cook down Mount Onion until they become soft and start to turn deep blonde in color&151;it's important that they not brown.
Stir in some flour and cook that for a bit, then add some wine, then beef (or chicken) stock, a sprig each of thyme and parsley and a bay leaf and simmer away for about a half hour.
Now, let's get serious. Ladle into bowls, lay toasted bread slices on top then grate some Gruyere cheese and until the cheese gets all melty, gooey, and glorious.
Yield: 6 servings
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 to 3 1/2 pounds of yellow onions (about 6 large; larger onions means less peeling), thinly sliced
kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons flour
1 cup dry white wine
8 cups homemade beef or chicken stock or low-sodium store bought
1 sprig parsley
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf tied together in a bundle
1 baguette, cut into ½[[[.5]]-inch rounds 1 ½ cups (about 6 ounces)
Shredded Gruyere cheese
In a large, wide soup pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook the onions gently, stirring frequently, until they are very soft and have begun to turn a deep blonde, about 40 minutes (it is important they do not brown or cook too long).
Stir in flour and cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
Pour in wine and increase heat to medium-high, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any caramelized juices.
Cook until liquid is almost completely reduced. Add broth.
Tie herbs together with string or inside a piece of cheesecloth. Add herb bundle and bring to a simmer.
Season lightly with salt and pepper and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, the onions should be soft but not falling apart.
The soup may be made ahead up until this point and held for several hours or even a few days before serving.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Put baguette slices on an oven rack, and toast lightly, 7 to10 minutes. Set aside.
Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees.
Set six ovenproof soup crocks on a heavy baking sheet, and ladle hot soup into crocks. Float the toasts on the soup and top each with a handful (about 1/4 cup) of Gruyere.
Bake until the cheese is melted, bubbly and just barely golden, 10 to 12 minutes.
Serve immediately when the cheese is gooey and the crock is very hot.
2 small broiler chickens (about 2 ½ pounds each and preferably free-range)
Freshly ground pepper
¼ cup olive oil
½ pound sweet Italian sausage (preferably without fennel seeds) cut into 1-inch pieces
10 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped fine
4 pickled cherry peppers, cut in half and stemmed
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock or canned reduced-sodium chicken broth
¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
Cut each chicken into 12 pieces. Wash and pat the chicken pieces dry, then season them generously with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 475F.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add as many pieces of chicken, skin side down and starting with the leg, thigh and wing pieces, to the skillet as fit without touching. Cook the chicken, turning as necessary, until golden brown on all sides, about 8 minutes.
Remove the chicken pieces as they brown and drain them briefly on paper towels. Place the drained chicken pieces in a roasting pan large enough to hold all of them in a single layer. Repeat with the remaining chicken, adding more oil to the pan as necessary and adjusting the heat to prevent the bits that stick to the pan from overbrowning. As room becomes available in the skillet after all the chicken has been added, tuck in pieces of sausage and cook, turning until browned on all sides.
Remove all chicken and sausage from the pan, add the garlic and cook until golden, being careful not to burn it. Scatter the cherry peppers into the skillet, season with salt and pepper and stir for a minute. Pour in the vinegar and bring to boil, scraping the browned bits that stick to the skillet into the liquid and cook until the vinegar is reduced by half. Add the white wine, bring to a boil and boil until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Pour the sauce over the chicken in the roasting pan and stir to coat. Place the chicken in the oven and roast, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and sticky, like molasses, about 10 minutes. If the sauce is still too thin, place the roasting pan directly over medium-high heat on the stovetop and cook, stirring, until it is reduced, about a minute or two. Once the sauce is thickened, toss in parsley and serve.
Lidia Matticchio Bastianich was born in Pola, Istria, on the northeastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. She is a cookbook author, restaurateur, and TV chef extraordinaire. Watch Lidia’s ItalySaturdays at 1:30pm on WGBH 2 or Sundays at 4pm on WGBX 44.
"I enjoy cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food I'm cooking." — Julia Child
Listen to Callie Crossley's interview on Boston Public Radio
Julia Child is famous for bringing French cooking into everyday households. She's a cultural force who's known for her signature voice and no-nonsense way about the kitchen. Callie Crossley talks with Jonathan Alsop, of the Boston Wine School, about how Child introduced wine into American living when martinis and gin and tonics were all the rage.