Oooooooooo baby, it’s cold outside!

October 2010

We just got five inches of snow in the area in which I live. In its wake, the best a non-snow bunny like me can manage is to gaze out of my window as a neighbor (who has a snow blower) clears a path for me to redeem my car and take out the trash. (Thank God for good neighbors!)

So…. what shall I do, unwilling victim as I am of Mother Nature’s wrath? For a person such as me, there is no better option than to retreat to my kitchen and MAKE SOUP!

I didn’t always make good soups. (Well… maybe I should say, not interesting soups.) I can’t remember my mother or grandmothers making anything other than chicken soup = heavenly concoctions that warmed my body, soothed my soul and cured my ails in the cold, wintry times in my Chicago home town. It was not until I lived where I am that I learned from a Jewish friend that DILL is the secret ingredient for “chicken penicillin.” Before that revelation, it was in France that I learned just how good a simple bowl of soup can be…. and that soup can be made of almost anything.

In my Paris restaurant (Bojangles in Montmartre), I embraced the practical course of cooking a big pot of soup every night, using vegetables left over from main meals. (On bad nights, I had LOTS of ingredients to work with!) I cooked tangy tomato, o-o-onion, mushroom melange, cauliflower & artichoke, creamy coco spinach, Brussel sprouts & leeks, nutty vegetables, red pea and high yella, just to name a few.

As I languish in the snowbound wilds of America, here is what I cooked using leftover bits of vegetables and seafood rescued from my freezer. (I must also note that I popped a loaf of homemade sour dough bread into the oven and used it to sop up the juice 🙂

Leftover seafood & vegetable soup cooked in cream

Soup - Creamy Seafood

Ingredients
¼ cup oil (olive)
1 cup onion (chopped)
1 cup celery (sliced thin)
2 cups asparagus (chopped in 1” pieces)
1 cup plum tomatoes (chopped)
8 cups water
1 cup sour cream (or plain yoghurt)
2  handfuls crab claws (frozen)
1 handful scallops (frozen)
1 cup shrimp (frozen)

Seasoning
1 tbs            garlic (crushed)
2 tbs            chicken bouillon
1 tbs            herbes de Provence
1 tsp            pepper (crushed red)

Directions
USE a medium soup pot
SAUTE vegetables in olive oil until well coated
ADD water
COOK until veggies are tender (about 15 minutes)
ADD seasoning
ADD sour cream
ADD crab & other seafood
MIX well
COVER & COOK on low heat until seafood is thawed (about 15 minutes)

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