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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tomato soup, potato soup, clam chowder

Here's how I make three different soups:

First melt 2 tbsp butter in a cast iron skillet. Whisk in 2 tbsp flour. Then add 2 cups of milk; Add more flour if you want to thicken.

You now have a basic white sauce which can be flavored into a wide variety of gravies.

You also have a base for making tomato soup, potato soup, or clam chowder.

First the tomato soup:

Take a can of whole tomatoes* and cut them up in a bowl. Pour the cut up tomatoes with the juice in the skillet. Add more flour to thicken.

*Or you can peel and cook down your own tomatoes, if you have the time and motivation.

Add onion powder and garlic powder. You now have a great tomato gravy to pour over biscuits.

But we're making tomato soup, so transfer this gravy to a cast iron pot. Add milk* until it's like a soup. Simmer until done.

*I prefer a combination of milk and cream.

Add chopped fresh basil while simmering if you like, or dried basil and oregano.

For potato soup OR clam chowder, cut up potatoes and boil them in a cast iron pot until soft. Drain.

Cook down some chopped onions or leeks in a skillet, and add to the potatoes.

Then add your base, and some milk or milk/cream. Add fresh cilantro if you have it.

Add onion powder, garlic powder and black pepper.

For potato soup, add chopped ham.

For clam chowder, add clams. If they're canned clams, drain the oil from the can before adding.

For that matter, you can add any seafood you want, and call it seafood chowder.

Then add some whole kernel corn; Now it's seafood and corn chowder.

Simmer until done.

For the clam/seafood chowder, you can combine milk and seafood stock, or clam juice.

You can also add old bay seasoning, cajun seasonings, or liquid crab boil.

Add Hormel real bacon bits to any of the above soups, for extra flavor.

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