Sunday, April 5, 2020

Mark Bittman's Creamy Potato Soup with Rustic Chive Pesto for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

If you are stuck at home with limited trips to the store or grocery deliveries, it definitely helps to have a Mark Bittman cookbook or two. Between the number of recipes, plus the variations of those recipes, you can pretty much put in an ingredient and come up with countless ways to cook it.


I wanted potato soup and in How To Cook Everything Fast, I quickly found a variation of parsnip soup with parsley pesto that would makes the most of a few Yukon Golds from my 5lb bag AND use up a bunch of chives in my veggie drawer and pine nuts stored in my freezer.


Bittman says, "Vegetables that will be pureed need to be cooked until very soft. If you cut them into chunks, getting there can take 20 minutes, even longer. But grated, they're ready in a flash." (Deb's Note: I was;t that concerned about time and wanted a partially pureed soup, so I cut mine into small chunks.)

Creamy Potato Soup with Rustic Chive Pesto
How To Cook Everything Fast by Mark Bittman
(Serves 4)

2 Tbsp butter 
1 medium onion
4 large-ish potatoes (about 2 lbs) (I used Yukon Gold potatoes)
salt and pepper (I used celery salt)
6 cups stock or water (I used non-chicken stock)

Pesto: 
1 bunch fresh chives
1 garlic clove
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 Tbsp olive oil

Put 2 tablespoons butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Trim, peel, and chop the onion.

When the butter starts to foam, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until it softens , 10 to 15 minutes. Peel potatoes and if grating, cut them into chunks that will fit in a food processor, or grate them by hand with a box grater. (I cut mine into 3/4-inch cubes.)

Raise the heat to high and add the potatoes, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and the 6 cups stock or water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat so that it bubbles gently but steadily and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20-minutes. . 

Meanwhile make pesto by chopping 1 cup of chives, mincing the garlic clove and roughly chopping the pine nuts. Combine them with 3 tablespoons olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl. Mash and stir with a fork against the sides of the bowl until the pesto becomes a loose paste. 

Turn the heat under the soup and run an immersion blender through the pot, or working in batches, transfer it to an upright blender and carefully puree. (I pureed about half of the soup.)

Reheat the soup for 1 to 2 minutes if necessary. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Divide the soup among 4 bowls, spoon the pesto over the top, and serve.


Notes/Results: A simple and tasty potato soup that goes up a level when the chunky, rustic pesto is added to the top. It's creamy without the cream and if you swap in olive oil or use vegan butter, you can take it from vegetarian to vegan. I will happily make it again.


Last week at I Heart Cooking Clubs we were supposed to pick our favorite from our 19 featured chefs and I didn't get an opportunity to post. Although I have several I am fond of, for many of the reasons mentioned above, I choose Mark Bittman. So many great, simple recipes, so many variation and his recipes are done in such a way that they are a great jumping off point to add my own twists and ideas. 

Here are five of my favorites. 

Spanish Tortilla from the New York Times


Simplest and Best Shrimp from How To Cook Everything (I used them in shrimp tacos):


Spaghetti with Fried Eggs from The New York Times:


Beans, Shrimp and Fennel from the VB6 Cookbook:


Spanish-Style Pasta e Fagioli from How To Cook Everything Fast:


And as a bonus...The Creamy Potato Soup with Chive Pesto that I just realized that I made before back in 2016! Have I mentioned that there are almost 600 soups posted here. Sometimes I goof and have a repeat! ;-) Oh, well... it is REALLY good!


Linking up this Mark Bittmen soup with I Heart Cooking Clubs where it is Potluck this week. Actually due to the difficulty in readily finding some ingredients and making due with what you have, we at IHCC are making all of our themes in April (after we welcome our newest featured chef Julia Child next week) a "Needs, Must" theme. Just like a month of Potlucks--any recipe from any of the 20 featured chefs (some are pictured below) making due with what you have in your pantry to cook with. Stop in and join us!


Now let's look into the Souper Sundays kitchen this week:


Tina of Squirrel Head Manor shared her thoughts on how the world has changed this month and shared a classic soup and sandwich combo saying, "We have been able to eat outside the kitchen quite a bit as the weather has been very nice. Here is another patio meal with grilled cheese on sourdough and tomato soup. Can't beat that combo."


Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Bog brought Instant Pot Vegan Potato Salad and said, "My husband loves potato salad and especially his grandmother's recipe that goes way back to his childhood growing up in the Middle East. I was delighted to convert the recipe to making it in the Instant Pot. I saved time and the mess of boiling a large amount of potatoes. … This interesting vegan recipe is made using lemon juice and oil as opposed to mayonnaise."


Shaheen of Allotment2Kitchen offers up a hearty soup saying, "This Sweet Potato and Blackeye Bean Soup was a well flavoured soup, not just from the sweetness from the sweet potatoes, but also hints from the other herbs, namely the sage. I haven't had blackeye beans for a little while, so the soft nuttiness added both flavour and melt in the mouth texture. On the last day of eating and reheating the soup, the sweet potatoes disintegrated completely."


Thank you to Tina, Judy and Shaheen for joining me this week!

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):

  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and add a link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Have a happy, healthy week and stay safe and well.
 

Thursday, April 2, 2020

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review The Shape of Family by Shilpi Somaya Gowda, Served with a Recipe for Peas and Potatoes Cooked in a Bihari Style

I'm so happy to be today's stop on the TLC Book Tour for The Shape of Family by Shilpi Somaya Gowda as she has become a favorite author of mine. Accompanying my review is a recipe for a  simple and tasty Peas and Potatoes Cooked in a Bihari Style by Madhur Jaffrey, inspired by my reading.



Publisher's Blurb:

The Olander family embodies the modern American Dream in a globalized world. Jaya, the cultured daughter of an Indian diplomat and Keith, an ambitious banker from middle-class Philadelphia, meet in a London pub in 1988 and make a life together in suburban California. Their strong marriage is built on shared beliefs and love for their two children: headstrong teenager Karina and young son Prem, the light of their home.

But love and prosperity cannot protect them from sudden, unspeakable tragedy, and the family’s foundation cracks as each member struggles to seek a way forward. Jaya finds solace in spirituality. Keith wagers on his high-powered career. Karina focuses relentlessly on her future and independence. And Prem watches helplessly as his once close-knit family drifts apart.

When Karina heads off to college for a fresh start, her search for identity and belonging leads her down a dark path, forcing her and her family to reckon with the past, the secrets they’ve held and the weight of their choices.

The Shape of Family is an intimate portrayal of four individuals as they grapple with what it means to be a family and how to move from a painful past into a hopeful future. It is a profoundly moving exploration of the ways we all seek belonging—in our families, our communities and ultimately, within ourselves.

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (March 17, 2020)

My Review:

Shilpi Somaya Gowda writes books that are about family in all of its complexities, joys, and sorrows, and tells stories that tug at the heart. I picked up her first book, The Secret Daughter and loved it, and was equally as fond of her second book, The Golden Son (see my book tour review here). Her books are smart, poignant without being maudlin, and so easy to get absorbed in. The Shape of Family tells of the Olanders, parents Jaya and Keith and their children Karina and Prem. Jaya grew up around the world with a diplomat father and a dancer mother, and Keith, an investment banker, was raised in Philadelphia. They now live in California with their two children; Karina is your typical teenager, and Prem a precocious young boy. We meet them before a tragedy strikes and when it does, this seemingly close family breaks apart from each other in their grief. Jaya finds comfort in the religious teachings of a Guru while Keith focuses on his work and the couple separates. Karina goes to college but has trouble feeling like she fits in the world and struggles with her guilt and pain, while Prem is there to watch each of them spin off and away from each other. The book is about grief and loss, and the choices made by each of the characters in absorbing an unthinkable tragedy and trying to move on. The story is beautifully and compassionately written, and it made me care about this family completely. We spend the most time with Karina, which means we get less of the other family members but I was most interested in her story, so that worked for me. I don't want to give too much away but there is a touch of magical realism that may connect with some readers more than others, but that I found gave the story a strong feeling of peace and hope. The Shape of Family touched me and I look forward to reading Gowda's next book.   

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Author Notes: Shilpi Somaya Gowda was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. Her previous novels, Secret Daughter and The Golden Son became international bestsellers, selling over one million copies worldwide. She holds an MBA from Stanford University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead-Cain scholar. She lives in California with her husband and children.


Find out more about Shilpi at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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Food Inspiration: 

There is so much food in The Shape of Family, it almost reads like a foodie novel. Mentions included: rice and vegetable curry, dosas, lamb curries, cabbage and kale, cake and ice cream, strawberries, garlic fries, beer, champagne, single malt whiskey, paan, chocolate chip cookies, ice cream sandwiches, cold cereal, hardboiled eggs seasoned with salt and red chili pepper, buttered wheat toast  and a sliced banana, chocolate chip pancakes and waffles, linguini with tomato sauce, ahi dipped in soy sauce, basil on a slice of buffalo mozzarella, aged balsamic on strawberries, slow simmered Bolognese, coq au vin, linguine with clams, Thai coconut curry and jasmine rice, heal tea, frozen yogurt, crackers, pizza, salad, ginger ale, popcorn, green beans, cheese toast, dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets dipped in ketchup, apples, pears, grapes, chapatis, dal, Chinese buffet, turkey or peanut butter sandwiches, a picnic of cheese, bread, grapes and wine, roasted tomatoes blended into a rice sauce, asparagus, rhubarb, romaine lettuce, rainbow chard, roots zucchini, poblanos and other veggies, creamy mashed potatoes with chives, port-wine gravy, haricots vets with toasted almonds, candy cane beets, an eclectic Thanksgiving meal with traditional and multi-cultural dishes, burritos, roasted chicken with lemon and thyme served with carrots, parsnips, turnips, and wild rice, soft scrambled eggs and toast, grilled lamb chops, guacamole and chips, Greek yogurt with homemade spicy cinnamon granola, carrot-ginger juice, jicama slaw, vanilla milkshake, Mexican-style corn, coconut water, pan-seared halibut with a lemon-herb crust, wilted greens, and French lentils, spinach and cheese omelets, salmon, apple pie, vegetarian meals: lentil stews, tofu curries and cauliflower steaks, pepperoni pizza, and mashed potatoes with mole. Whew--that wasn't even all of it!


For my bookish dish, I wanted a quick and simple recipe with ingredients I had at home due to the state of things and limited grocery runs. I found Madhur Jaffrey's Peas and Potatoes online. I thought it was a good example of a simple dish that Jaya might cook (although it did say in the book that she wasn't using garlic, chilies, and onion based on the teachings of the Guru she follows that "they are not good for her spiritual being.") Yikes! I think those things are very good for my spiritual being. ;-) I had a 5 lb bag of Yukon Gold potatoes in my pantry (potatoes are my love language), ginger, onion and a chili in my veggie drawer, and frozen peas in my pantry so I was all set to make it.



Peas and Potatoes Cooked in a Bihari Style
Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey via NationalPost.com
(Serves 4)

2 tbsp olive, peanut or mustard oil
½ tsp whole cumin seeds
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp peeled, finely grated, fresh ginger root
1 to 3 fresh, hot green chilies, finely chopped (I used 1 jalapeño)
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
2-1/3 cups green peas, parboiled and drained if fresh, defrosted if frozen
1 medium waxy potato, boiled, peeled, diced (I used 2 large Yukon Gold Potatoes)
1 tsp salt or to taste
freshly ground pepper

In a medium non-stick frying pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle for 10 seconds. Add onions and stir and fry them for about five minutes, or until just softened.

Add ginger, green chilies, and turmeric and cook, stirring, for a minute. Then add peas, potatoes, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for two to three minutes. If mixture dries out, add a little water, heat and serve


Notes/Results: A very simple but tasty dish that I used for my main dish, but would also be great as a side. The bright colors and delicious flavors made me happy. I only had one jalapeño in my veggie drawer but I left in some of the seeds and it was a good level of spice for me. The recipe says it serves 4, but I used two potatoes and had two servings as a main course. You could serve it with rice or a salad to round it out more as a meal but I was content with a bowl for dinner and another bowl for breakfast/lunch. I will happily make this again.


Linking up this Madhur Jaffrey dish with I Heart Cooking Clubs where it is Potluck this week. Actually due to the difficulty in readily finding some ingredients and making due with what you have, we at IHCC are making all of our themes in April (after we welcome our newest featured chef Julia Child next week) a "Needs, Must" theme. Just like a month of Potlucks--any recipe from any of the 20 featured chefs (some are pictured below) making due with what you have in your pantry to cook with. Stop in and join us!


I'm also sharing it at the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.


Note: A review copy of "The Shape of Family" was provided to me by the author and the publisher Harper Collins via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for my review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.  You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here

.
 

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Torshi Tareh (Persian Sour Herb Stew With Marbled Eggs) for Cook the Books February/March Pick: "Pomegranate Soup" & Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Torshi Tareh or Persian Sour Herb Stew with Marbled Eggs is a called a stew so I am making it count for both Souper Sundays and for our Cook the Books February/March selection: Pomegranate Soup by Marsha Mehran. Lots of herbs and spinach with slightly jammy eggs on top works for me and the recommended serving of rice and smoked fish was intriguing and delicious. First lets chat about the book, hosted by Simona of briciole. (You can see her announcement post here.)


I feel guilty this round of Cook the Books because although I have read this book twice, book readings were several years ago and with a lot of craziness at work and in life, I didn't manage to skim it again. To make matters worse, I couldn't find my copy either, just my copy of the sequel Rosewater and Soda Bread. So not only am I at my usual last minute post, I didn't even have the book for pretty photos. 

Here is the cover blurb on the book:

Beneath the holy mountain Croagh Patrick, in damp and lovely County Mayo, sits the small, sheltered village of Ballinacroagh. To the exotic Aminpour sisters, Ireland looks like a much-needed safe haven. It has been seven years since Marjan Aminpour fled Iran with her younger sisters, Bahar and Layla, and she hopes that in Ballinacroagh, a land of “crazed sheep and dizzying roads,” they might finally find a home.

From the kitchen of an old pastry shop on Main Mall, the sisters set about creating a Persian oasis. Soon sensuous wafts of cardamom, cinnamon, and saffron float through the streets–an exotic aroma that announces the opening of the Babylon Café, and a shock to a town that generally subsists on boiled cabbage and Guinness served at the local tavern. And it is an affront to the senses of Ballinacroagh’s uncrowned king, Thomas McGuire. After trying to buy the old pastry shop for years and failing, Thomas is enraged to find it occupied–and by foreigners, no less. 

But the mysterious, spicy fragrances work their magic on the townsfolk, and soon, business is booming. Marjan is thrilled with the demand for her red lentil soup, abgusht stew, and rosewater baklava–and with the transformation in her sisters. Young Layla finds first love, and even tense, haunted Bahar seems to be less nervous. 

And in the stand-up-comedian-turned-priest Father Fergal Mahoney, the gentle, lonely widow Estelle Delmonico, and the headstrong hairdresser Fiona Athey, the sisters find a merry band of supporters against the close-minded opposition of less welcoming villagers stuck in their ways. But the idyll is soon broken when the past rushes back to threaten the Amnipours once more, and the lives they left behind in revolution-era Iran bleed into the present.  

Infused with the textures and scents, trials and triumph,s of two distinct cultures, Pomegranate Soup is an infectious novel of magical realism. This richly detailed story, highlighted with delicious recipes, is a delectable journey into the heart of Persian cooking and Irish living.



I gave the book a four-star rating on Goodreads back in 2011, and remember that I enjoyed the story and the relationship between the sisters, Marjan, Bahar and Layla. I like magical realism, which whether you do or not is definitely going to impact your feelings on the book though the magic is less in this book than in its follow up, Rose Water and Soda Bread. I think it goes well with the exotic ingredients and glimpses of life in Iran and Ireland in the book. There is culture shock for the sisters, as well as for the community of Ballinacroagh, the small Irish town they settle in, Some in the town welcomes them, others shun them, and others don't quite know what to think until they taste the dishes they serve at the Babylon Cafe. There are delicious recipes woven into the chapters of book (why I am so disappointed that I couldn't find my copy) so the overall feeling is like a mix of Like Water For Chocolate and Chocolat, only with the clash of Irish and Iranian culture. I recommend it to foodies who don't mind a touch of magic in their books. 


For my bookish dish, I wanted to make some sort of Persian soup or stew that I hadn't made before for the book and I had this recipe that arrived in my email a week or so ago from Epicurious picked because it looked and sounded delicious. Since I had a coworker who was stopping by our retail outlet I had her look for fresh spinach and some potatoes for another dish. She grabbed me a gigantic (2.5 lb) bag of baby spinach and a 5 lb bag of Yukon Gold potatoes & with our discount it came to $11.00, so a deal for fresh groceries here. The recipe calls for frozen spinach but I thought I had a box in my freezer and didn't, and the more popular frozen veggies are hard to find right now and besides, I like fresh spinach more anyway. I had some fresh cilantro and parsley and freeze-dried dill since fresh dill wasn't readily available and so I made about 2/3 worth of the recipe. 


Epicurious says, "Home cook Maddi Behzadi taught us how to make this Northern Iranian dish, which traditionally features wild greens. With a texture similar to saag paneer or green shakshuka, her version is made with braised spinach and herbs, and gets a vibrant boost of flavor from lime juice. Unlike shakshuka, the egg yolks are broken and marbled with the whites before they cook on top of the greens until gently set."


Torshi Tareh (Persian Sour Herb Stew With Marbled Eggs
Slightly Adapted from Mahdis Behzadi via Epicurious.com
(Serves 6)

2 Tbsp basmati rice, rinsed
  • 1 large bunch cilantro
  • 1 large bunch dill (I used freeze-dried dill)
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 10 oz frozen chopped spinach (I used fresh spinach)
  • 1/4 cup dried cilantro
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from about 4 limes)
  • 6 large eggs or 6 large egg whites
  • cooked rice and smoked white fish (for serving; optional)

    Combine rice with 3 cups water in a small saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Remove from heat; set aside.
    1. Meanwhile, tear cilantro, dill, and parsley (including stems) with your hands. Working in batches if needed, stuff into a food processor and process until finely chopped.
    2. Combine onion and oil in a cold large high-sided skillet with a lid. Place over medium-high heat and cook, stirring and shaking pan occasionally, until onion is dark brown around the edges, 6–8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until garlic is just barely golden, about 1 minute. Add turmeric and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add herbs and spinach (no need to defrost or drain) and cook, stirring often, until herbs are wilted and spinach is thoroughly defrosted, about 2 minutes. Add dried cilantro, pepper, 21/2 tsp salt, and reserved parcooked rice along with all of the water. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook over medium-low heat until flavors come together, about 10 minutes.
    3. Remove lid and continue to cook spinach mixture until greens are glossy and liquid is almost completely evaporated (dragging a rubber spatula or wooden spoon through the mixture should leave a trail with little to no liquid seeping back in), 6–8 minutes. Stir in lime juice; taste and season with more salt if needed.
    4. Make 6 divots in mixture and crack an egg into each one (or, if making with egg whites only, separate out egg yolks first and reserve for another use). Working quickly, drag the tip of an offset spatula or butter knife through each egg once or twice to break up the yolks and encourage wisps of egg white to spread throughout the mixture (you want a marbled effect—don’t scramble). Cover pan and simmer until eggs are cooked to your liking, about 3 minutes for jammy. Serve with rice and smoked fish alongside if desired.
Cook’s Note
If you have cooked rice on hand, you can skip the first step and add ¼ cup cooked rice and 3 cups hot water instead.


Notes/Results: I love everything about this stew--the exotic herby flavor, the acidity, and the touch of lime "sourness" and the jammy eggs and creamy spinach. At first, I thought the smoked fish accompaniment was a little odd but it rounded out the flavors nicely. My friend Barb supplies me with Trader Joe's Smoked Trout regularly, and I am lucky to have a few cans in my pantry. It was it delicious with the spinach and eggs. I also liked the small amount of basmati rice rice mixed into the stew, and more on the side for serving. This stew is much like green shakshuka and I will happily make it again.


Simona will be rounding up the entries for this round shortly on the Cook the Books site as the deadline is Tuesday, March 31st. If you missed this round and like books, food and foodie books, please join us for the April/May selection, hosted by me. We'll be reading Hippie Food by Jonathan Kauffman. Hope you join us!


Now let's look into the Souper Sundays kitchen this week:


Tina of Squirrel Head Manor shared a Burger and Fries she enjoyed this week, the baked potatoes from a library cookbook and said, "The first recipe I tried was oven baked potatoes. They are almost the same as the way I prepared them and while tasty and crispy, Doug said he liked my old version better. ... Doug grilled burgers while heated fresh corn and made these potatoes. Then we sat outside to escape the hot kitchen as the oven was cranked up to 425 F for 20 minutes. Not like you need to twist our arms to eat outdoors."



Thank you to Tina for joining me this week!

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and add a link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
Have a happy, healthy week!
 

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Fingerling Potato & Corn Chowder for Souper (Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sundays (+ 5 Favorite Potato Dishes)

Fresh foods are still plentiful at the stores around me, while prepared and frozen foods are hit or miss. That could certainly change, so I wanted to make the most of it and use up some multi-colored fingerling potatoes, fresh tarragon and fennel that were starting to look slightly limp. I also wanted chowder because chowder is always a good idea. To make it a vegan chowder I used coconut milk for my base, thickening it with cornstarch.


You can make chowder with any vegetables you have on hand--the recipe below is what I used.

Fingerling Potato & Corn Chowder
By Deb, Kahaki Kitchen
(Makes 6 Servings

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped (I used 1 orange carrot/1 parsnip)
3 medium leeks, light green and white parts only, washed well and sliced
2 medium fennel bulbs, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp dried tarragon or 1 Tbsp fresh, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 lbs fingerling potatoes, well scrubbed and sliced/chopped into 1-inch pieces
5 cups broth (I used non-chicken bouillon cubes)
2 Tbsp cornstarch + 2 Tbsp cold water 
1 can coconut milk
2 cups fresh or frozen corn
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
fresh tarragon to serve (optional)  

Heat olive in in a large soup pot over medium and add onion, carrots, leeks and fennel. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes until veggies soften slightly and onions turn translucent. Add garlic, celery seed, tarragon and bay leaf and cook another 2 minutes. 

Add potatoes and broth and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes and veggies are just tender. Mix the cornstarch with cold water until it is smooth with no lumps. Add it, and the coconut milk to the soup, along with the corn and simmer for another 5-7 minutes, until corn is warmed through and chowder has thickened.

Taste and add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve with fresh tarragon on top if desired.


Notes/Results: Rich, creamy and satisfying, chowder always makes me happy. I like the difference in taste and texture of the three colors of potatoes and the anise flavor of the tarragon and fennel. If you don't want to use cornstarch, you could make a roux or mash up some of the potatoes to thicken the soup. This will be excellent for lunches this week--whether I end up at home or at the office. I'll happily make it again.


While we are on the subject of potatoes (my love language), here is a round up of five tasty potato dishes from some of our 19 featured chefs at I Heart Cooking Clubs for this week's Hot Potato! theme:


Ruth Reichl's Crisp Lemon Baby Potatoes:


Tessa Kiros: Sage & Rosemary Mashed Potatoes:


Mark Bittman's Spanish Tortilla:


Diana Henry's Cabbage (Kale) and Leek Colcannon:


Nigel Slater's Goat Cheese Bubble & Squeak:

I could post favorite potato recipes for days but I'll stop here and let's see who is in the Souper Sundays kitchen this week:


Debra of Eliot's Eats brought Carrot Salad with Olives saying, "This week, I present Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes: Recipes from a Modern Kitchen Garden  by Jeanne Kelley. ... I’ve made a few recipes, but the most recent one was a riff on a carrot salad. We had company here for lunch and I needed something quick and easy with ingredients I had on hand. (I certainly wasn’t running back to the grocery store with the hoarders!)"

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor advises "If you are staying home, make soup!" and offered up Nigella's Tortilla Soup saying, "I wanted to participate with the cooking club, Deb’s Souper Sunday and British Isles Friday so I thought, why not make a Nigella Lawson recipe and tweek the ingredients from her quesadillas. This is basically her quesadilla recipe dumped into a pot and made into soup. Nigella is one of my favorite British chefs and I'm sure I'll be revisiting her cookbooks soon."

Judee of Gluten Free A - Z Blog brought her Green & Healthy Spinach Soup and said, "Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, this beautiful spinach soup recipe is quick, green and healthy. It's kind of like a homemade V-8 shake. When you read the ingredients, you may think it sounds weird (I did), but I assure you it tastes absolutely delicious despite mixing orange juice and vegetables. The question is- "Is this a soup, shake or a smoothie?"


Thank you to Debra, Tina and Judee for joining me this week!

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and add a link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
Have a happy, healthy week--stay safe and well!