Monday, April 27, 2009

Soup and Salad Dinner

This is one of my favorite soup recipes. My sister-in-law, Cheryl, asked me for the recipe for a corn chowder recently, and her request inspired me to make this soup again. It's a fairly simple recipe, but it makes a delicious soup. For some reason the recipe makes a small portion, so I usually double it. The soup is nice topped with croutons, or tortilla chips. The recipe comes from a cooking class I took a very long time ago.

Cheesy Corn chowder

1/4 cup finely diced carrot
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1/2 rib of celery, diced
2 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup veg broth
8 ounce canned cream corn
8 ounces frozen whole kernel corn
6 ounces shredded sharp cheddar
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Saute carrots, onion, and celery in butter in a medium saucepan until veggies are tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in milk; stir in broth. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Stir in corn and cook until hot, about 5 minutes. Stir in cheese and remaining ingredients; simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. If soup is too thick, add additional broth to thin it out.

Here's a yummy, crunchy salad that goes well with a rich soup. It is just canned chickpeas, sliced carrots, and almonds in a vinegar and oil dressing.

Some easy, homey desserts to go with the soup and salad; Dave has been known to whine if there's no dessert. Rice pudding with chestnuts and dried dates, and apricot gingerbread biscotti.

I've made many variations of rice pudding over the years, since Dave is a pudding person. This version is not an exact recipe, it's more of a method. I use about 3-4 cups of cooked rice, and 2-3 cups of milk-in this case I used coconut milk. Put the rice in a medium saucepan along with enough milk to cover the rice by a couple inches. Add sugar and cinnamon to taste. Here, I also added some chopped dried dates, and some canned chestnuts. Cook the rice mixture over low heat, stirring frequently, until it is nice and thick and creamy. You made need to add more milk during the cooking process. It usually takes about 25 minutes to become thick. Do not cook it over a high heat as the pudding can scorch very easily.

This recipe came from

Gingerbread Biscotti

2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons of ground ginger
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup molasses
2 large eggs
2 teaspoon grated orange zest

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, mix the first 8 ingredients. Add the pecans and apricots. In a separate bowl, whisk together the molasses, eggs, and zest. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the dry mixture. Blend well.

Dump the dough onto a work surface and divide in two. Shape each half into a log that's 10 inches long and about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Use a bit of flour if dough is too sticky. Position the logs on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until tops are cracked and spring back slightly when gently pressed, 30 - 35 minutes. Let cool about 15 minutes.

Carefully peel away the parchment and tranfer logs to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, saw each log into 3/4-inch wide slices. Return the slices to the cookie sheet, cut side down. Bake until biscotti are dried, about 10-15 minutes. Store in airtight containers.


  1. My soup did not look like your soup. Then again, I had a different recipe. I wanted it to be creamy like yours but mine was more like a corn vegetable soup with a thinner stock. It didn't taste bad but it wasn't what I was trying to make. Yours looks great!

  2. Oh, you take requests?? I will have to think of something to have you make for me :)

  3. I was wondering what I was going to do with the bags of roasted corn I have in the freezer when I came across your yummy recipe for Cheesy Corn Chowder — I am definitely going to make it later this week when the temps go back down to normal in the valley. (Hopefully mid-60s, perfect soup weather!) Thanks for the inspiration, Michele. Oh, and those Gingerbread Biscotti — I will certainly save that recipe for the holidays.
    You are some cook!

  4. Cheryl- I'm so sorry I didn't get the recipe to you sooner! I am sure your soup was good though. If you want to make corn chowder again, try this recipe!

  5. Wow! Thank you Barbara! That is some compliment considering that you are such an amazing cook yourself!