November 15, 2013

Recipes: Rib-sticking soups to ward off the chill

Try these five flavorful ideas from local chefs and others.

Photo by Lara Ferroni from “The American Craft Beer Cookbook.” Used with permission of Storey Publishing.

Blackened Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Excerpted from “The American Craft Beer Cookbook” (c) John Holl. Used with permission of Storey Publishing.

This satisfying chowder can restore even the most waterlogged sailor. Fresh-from-the-sea shrimp adds a salty kick. Pair with an amber ale, like Gritty’s Red Claws Ale, to fortify yourself against the elements and whatever’s coming next. Serve with oyster crackers, tortilla chips, corn bread, or another bread of your choice.

Makes: 8-10 servings

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium Spanish onion, finely chopped

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

2 medium banana peppers, finely chopped

1/2 cup red or amber ale

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined, preferably Maine-harvested

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn

4 cups fish broth

1 large sweet potato, baked and mashed

Fresh dill, finely chopped

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and banana peppers, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the ale and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking and stirring until the beer’s foam subsides and the liquid reduces by half, about 5 minutes.

2. Rinse the shrimp under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Toss the shrimp, chili powder, and paprika together in a bowl, coating thoroughly. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a cast iron skillet. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring once, until nicely seared, about 2 minutes.

3. Immediately transfer the shrimp to the soup pot, and then stir in the corn and broth. Bring the mixture to a light boil over medium-high heat and add the mashed sweet potato. Reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes longer.

4. Divide the soup among bowls and top with the fresh dill before serving.

Photo by Scott Phillips from “Fine Cooking Soups & Stews”

Baked Potato and Leek Soup with Cheddar and Bacon

From “Fine Cooking Soups & Stews” (The Taunton Press, $17.95)

Russets work for this soup since you’ll be pureéing it. Don’t use russets in any soup where you want the potatoes to stay in small chunks.

Yields about 6 cups; serves 4

2 medium russet potatoes (about 1/2 lb. each)

1/4 cup unsalted butter

2 1/2 cups sliced leeks (about 2 medium leeks; white and light green parts only), well washed

2 medium cloves garlic, minced

Kosher salt

2 cups homemade or lower-salt chicken broth

4 thick slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup sour cream

1 cup grated sharp Cheddar (about 1/4 lb.)

Freshly ground black pepper

2 Tbs. thinly sliced scallion greens or chives

1. Heat the oven to 375°F. Scrub the potatoes in water, pat dry, and pierce in several places with a fork. Set them directly on an oven rack and bake until very tender when pierced with a fork, about 1 hour. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

2. Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the leeks and garlic, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the broth and 2 cups water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the leeks are very tender, about 20 minutes.

(Continued on page 2)

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