Ginger, Sesame Chicken Soup with Cilantro Sesame Pesto

A pot of chicken stock simmering on the stove.  The windows edged with moisture.  The wind howling outside while inside, all is well, warm, and welcoming.  That’s what this soup is about.

Today I’m feeling especially grateful for the people who grow our food and the animals that become our meals.  That our food is well-tended before it reaches our plates is a gift.  I appreciate what nourishes my body and the bodies of those I love.  Abundance comes to us in so many ways and I feel rich and full and blessed.

Chicken Soup Photo Rocky Coast Photography

Ginger, Sesame Chicken Soup with Cilantro Sesame Pesto
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups diced onions; about 1 large onion
2 cups diced carrots; about 2 carrots
1/4 cup fresh ginger, peeled and julienned (cut into match-stick sized pieces)
1 teaspoon salt
8 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
3 cups cooked chicken meat

Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil, onions and carrots and sauté for 7 to 10 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the ginger and sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil to heat through. Serve with a dollop of Cilantro Sesame Pesto.

Serves 4 to 6

Cilantro Sesame Pesto
1/3 cup sesame seeds
2 cups lightly packed cilantro leaves and stems
1/4 cup scallions, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 small garlic clove, smashed
3/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Combine everything in the food processor and pulse until thoroughly combined.

Makes about 1/2 cup

Enjoy this light, after-the-holidays meal!

Throwback Thursday – New England Clam Chowder

New England Clam Chowder was one of the first things I learned to make when I came to Maine to work on a Maine windjammer more than twenty-five years ago.  This simple recipe is both a signature dish and an iconic meal that embodies the characteristics of New England in general and Maine in specific:  hearty, warming, simple, frugal and nourishing.

ThrowbackThursday FMC

Turkey Leftovers – What to do with ’em

I can’t decide.  Do I like Thanksgiving dinner better or the leftover dinner the next day?  Nope, still can’t decide.  The good thing is that I don’t have to.  We had both.

Now that both the big meal and the equally good leftover meal are in the past, if you haven’t already taken those bones and made stock with them, today is the day to either deal with them in the form of stock or get them well wrapped and into the freezer until you do have time. I talk about how to make stock with your turkey bones in my latest column.

Corn, Bacon and Potato Soup was the final product of our turkey stock last night for dinner.   It works because stock made this way is not as heavily poultry flavored as when you begin with raw bones.  It becomes a mild background flavor rather than the main event.  The oyster crackers are a traditional way of thickening chowder.  I suppose this soup could be considered chowder if you weren’t such a traditionalist and didn’t require salt pork to call it so.  They are salty and so is the bacon.  Therefore, additional salt may not be needed.  Taste at the end to be sure.

Corn Bacon Potato Soup

Corn, Bacon and Potato Soup
2 cups diced onions, about 1 large onion
4 slices bacon, diced
4 cups diced red potatoes, about 6 to 8 small to medium potatoes
several grinds of fresh black pepper
1 cup oyster crackers
4 to 6 cups turkey stock (or chicken broth)
1 cup whole milk
3 cups frozen corn kernels (but if it were in the middle of the summer, I’d definitely use fresh!)
pinch of salt to taste

Heat a large stockpot over medium-high heat and add the onions and the bacon.  Saute for 10 minutes or until the onions are translucent and the bacon has rendered fully.  Add the potatoes, pepper and oyster crackers and saute for another several minutes or until things begin to brown slightly.  Add the stock and bring the soup to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.  Add the milk and corn, bring to a simmer again and taste for salt.

Serves 4 to 6

Hope it was a good one for you all!

Creamy Pumpkin and Broccoli Soup – More Leftovers!

Hurricane Sandy has now moved away from the Maine Coast and the lone casualty in this yard is the Amur Maple that continues to occasionally loose a limb and give us a little extra fire wood in the process.  This tree has no actual horticultural value according to my gardening friends, however, its breadth and width gives us a barrier of privacy in an area of the yard which would feel entirely too open without it.

This is also the tree under which our girls have created small worlds among fairy houses, enacted stories within forts, climbed into notches with books and swung in hammocks for sun-kissed naps.  Hard for me to say this tree has no value, so cut it down we will not.  Instead we’ll just wait for Mother Nature to change it as it must and reap the benefits of the wood it provides.

While outside the weather raged last night, inside we were cozy and warm as we sat to dinner of another meal made from leftovers.  This isn’t a recipe, but more of a guide to show you how I used what we had.  Day 21 without going to the grocery store.

Creamy Pumpkin Broccoli Soup
pat or two of butter
diced onion
dusting of flour
salt and pepper
cooked pumpkin – Canned pumpkin puree will work.  I used pumpkin flesh from a roasted pie pumpkin.
broccoli – Fresh broccoli will work.  I used leftover steamed broccoli with lemon.
vegetable or chicken stock
whole milk
small amount of lemon juice if beginning with uncooked broccoli

Heat a stock pot over medium high heat.  Melt the butter and add the onion and salt and pepper.  Saute until onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.  Dust with flour and stir well to incorporate the flour.  Add stock and milk in equal proportions and then add the pumpkin flesh.  Bring to a simmer and transfer to a blender.  Carefully puree the soup until it is smooth and creamy.  Return to the stock pot and adjust for seasoning.  Add the broccoli to the blender and puree with a little more stock until it is loose and liquidy.  Pour the broccoli mixture into the soup pot and bring back to a simmer.  Remove from heat and serve immediately so as not to loose the bright green color of the broccoli.  If you are using uncooked broccoli, steam it first and then puree with the stock.  Season to taste with a small amount of lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Thankful to be on land and in our cozy house

Eating Locally: Fresh Pea Soup and Fiddleheads from Maine

Less than a week before we sail!  Can’t believe we are there already.  This has been the best outfitting season of our career with the perfect mix of good crew and weather and a healthy dose of experience on our part about how to do this well.

The Portland Press ran the column last week about spring veggies – pea shoots, peas, fiddleheads and more.  I’m just now getting to posting.  Once we start sailing, I’m going to do my best to post as often as I can and we’ll see how well that goes!

Tastes of spring
Lemon Parmesan Fiddleheads
Fiddleheads with Tamari and Toasted Sesame Seeds
Fresh Pea Soup with Chives and Crème Fraiche with Pesto Crostini

Eat your green veggies!

Email thisShare on FacebookTwitterDigg This!Save to del.icio.usStumble It!

Maine Ingredient – All About Squash

Squash and pumpkins come in a myriad of shapes and sizes some endearing and some impressive.  Some pretty or cute and some, well, just downright ugly.  No matter about what they look like on the outside though, because it’s the flavorful inside that counts.  The seeds and the flesh.

Pumpkins and squash at the farm

I find that many squashes can be used interchangeably although each kind has it’s own individual flavor and texture.

Two of my recipes that ran today in the Portland Press Herald column are:

Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage Butter and Spinach
Delicata Squash and Sweet Potato Soup with Bacon and Chive Cream Fraiche

We just had the Pumpkin Ravioli with a Spinach Salad – more greens, yeah! – last night for dinner.  Perfect fall meal.

Thinking up more things to do with all the squash from the farmer’s market

Email thisShare on FacebookTwitterDigg This!Save to del.icio.usStumble It!