JANUARY: Fish Chowder


1 onion chopped
4T butter
1/2 lb carrots chopped
4 stalks celery chopped
1.5 lbs Scrod or other white fish
1 lb Salmon
2 c. half and half
1 red pepper chopped
1 lbs potatoes diced
1 c. white wine
fish stock or water as needed
1 tsp thyme
grated rind of one orange
Pernod or Cognac 2-4 T, to taste

Saute onion in butter till sift. Add carrots, celery and red pepper, sweat for a few minutes to intensify flavor. Add fish, potatoes, wine, stock, thyme . Bring to a boil and simmer till cooked, 1/2 hour. Add half and half, orange rind and Pernod to taste. Reheat and enjoy. Great with Corn Bread!!


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JANUARY: Virgin New Years Eve Soup

It’s almost New Years Eve and I am cooking for friends. The main course is duck and I was trying to think of what I wanted for a first course. While looking through the latest food Magazines I came across a recipe for a white cabbage soup with spiced pears. Something about the whiteness got me so.. I thought, what white vegetables would I like to work with. I had a Gilfeather Turnip in the frig , plus lots of Yukon Gold Potatoes,parsley, sage, oregano and thyme. So I went shopping to see what I could find. Another small turnip, one large parsnip later, a few leeks…. and here’s the recipe in my usual free form.


3 average Leeks, cleaned and White part mostly, ( I hate to waste all of that greens so I go up a ways)
1 bunch of Scallions, sliced
1/2 large onion, chopped
4 T. butter
4 T. olive oil
2 medium size Gilfeather Turnips, peel, cut into 1/2 in squares
1 large parsnip peeled and sliced
6 medium Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and cut into chunks.

6 or so fresh sage leaves, chopped
6 cups of broth, chicken or vegetable
3 cups of light cream
a pinch of nutmeg
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat the butter and oil in a large pot, sauté the onions until soft and clear.

Add the parsnip, turnip, potato and sage. Sweat the vegetables for a few minute on a low to medium heat. ( Place a sheet of waxed paper over the pot, put the lid on).

Remove the lid and paper, Add the 6 cups of broth to the pot , or more, so that the vegetables are just covered. Cook until all the vegetables are totally soft. Add the light cream a bit at a time as you puree the soup. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.

The original recipe called for pumpernickel croutons. I had a multi grain bread in the house so I cubed it, tossed it with the barest of olive oil. I put the croutons on a sheet tray and toasted in the oven until the were dry and crisp. They will look pretty on the white soup. If I hadn’t used all of the sage leaves I would float one on the top as well.


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JANUARY: Cream of Mushroom Soup

This delicious Cream of Mushroom soup recipe is just what you need in the winter months.


2 cups of dried assorted mushrooms
3 large cloves of garlic, diced
2 lbs of tomatoes, chopped
5 leeks
2 lb assorted fresh mushrooms, sliced
10 cups of either vegetable stock or chicken ( Use large Knorr cubes )
.5 cup oil
1 stick of butter
5 leeks
Salt and pepper
1 cup of light cream
2 cup of sherry wine ( cooking or cream, depending on your taste )
2 cups of heavy cream
1/4 cup of chopped parsley for garnish
Creme Fraiche for garnish

Soak the dried mushroom in boiling water for an hour. Drain and strain liquid through a cheese cloth. Discard the dirt in the cheesecloth. Puree the mushrooms in a cuisinart.

Heat the oil and butter in a large pan. Sauté the leeks and then the garlic, add the sliced mushrooms and tomatoes. Cook for a few minutes. Add the dried mushroom and the 10 cups of water with the vegetable cubes. Cook until well softened, 30 – 45 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Puree in batches in a food processor or use an immersion blender.

Return to pot, add the light and heavy creams plus the sherry. Reheat.

Serve garnished with creme fraiche and parsley.

Makes approximately 25 servings.


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FEBRUARY: Asian Noodle Soup


4 cups homemade chicken broth or canned
3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
Finely grated ginger, the size of a large walnut
1 Tsp Sambal or more to taste ( Sambal = hot sauce)
1.5 leeks sliced, white part only
1/4 chinese cabbage ( Napa ) sliced
1 T. Soy Sauce
.5 tsp toasted Sesame Oil
.5 T, Mirin
1 dried Thai Red Pepper Chili, seeds removed and chopped. Wear gloves!

2 serving of Soba Buckwheat Noodles or other Asian noodle of your choice.
Cilantro if you happen to have it on hand

I must confess that I threw everthing in to the pot except the noodles. I let all of the vegetables cook.

Cook the noodles separately, drain and place into 2 bowls. Add the broth and serve garnished with cilantro.

Adjust seasoning to your degree of spiciness. And stay warm.


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APRIL: Tomato & Pepper Soup


1/4 or more cups of vegetable oil
1 Spanish onion diced
2 large cloves of garlic
5 lbs of tomatoes, chopped in the cuisinart
1 each red pepper, yellow pepper, orange pepper, diced
2 T. vegetable or chicken base
6 – 8 cups of water
10 sprigs of thyme
1 T. pink peppercorns
Leaves from 2 stems of basil
1 T. sugar
S&P to taste

Heat the oil in a deep pot.   Add the onions and saute until soft. Add the garlic and stir for a minute just to brown it. Add everything but the salt pepper and sugar.

Simmer until soft and blended. Season with salt and pepper plus 1 T. of sugar or two.

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DECEMBER: Celeriac Vichysoisse

For holiday entertaining with elegance and style, nothing beats a Vichyssoise soup.  You will love this exotic twist on the old classic.


4 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes
1 lb celriac root (approximately) with skin
4 leeks, 2 lbs ( approximately)
1  1/2  c celery
4 T butter
1/4 cup olive oil
boiling water to cover
2 Knorr ( brand name) vegetable cubes
4 c whole milk
1 c heavy cream
2 t salt plus to taste
1 t black pepper
4 pinches nutmeg


Melt butter and oil together, and saute leeks until soft.

Add veggies, cover pot with waxed paper, and put the lid on (this is called sweating the vegetables and enhances the flavor).   Let them sweat about 5 minutes, stirring periodically so the veggies don’t stick.

Add boiling water to cover, stir, and cook until soft.

Add cream and milk, then puree (in blender, food processor, or with submersion blender).

Salt to taste

Serve cold or at room temperature.

Makes one gallon.

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August: Summer Zucchini Basil Soup

This soup is a great way to use up late summer zucchini and basil.


4 T butter
1/4 c olive oil
5 lbs zucchini,  sliced
1 lb yukon gold potatoes sliced
2 med-large onions, chopped
1/4 c fresh basil
2 Knorr (brand) vegetable cubes
1 c heavy cream
Boiling water to cover


Melt butter and oil together, and saute onions until soft.

Add veggies and basil, then cover pot with waxed paper and put the lid on (this is called sweating the vegetables and enhances the flavor).  Allow to cook on low for about 5 minutes.

Add boiling water to cover, stir and cook until soft.

Add cream, puree  in blender, food processor, or with submersion blender).

Salt to taste.

Serve cold or at room temperature.  Makes 1 gallon or 16 cups


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Zucchini And Yellow Squash Soup

Enjoy when summer squashes are plentiful or any time!

Zucchini and Summer Squash SoupIngredients:

6 T butter
3 leeks,  white part only sliced and washed
4 garlic scapes, sliced  (you can substitute 8 cloves of garlic)
4 medium yellow squash, sliced
3 medium zucchini, sliced
Fresh Sage,  3 stems, about 8 – 10 leaves chopped
Water to cover plus one inch
2 T vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup of cream
Salt to taste

Melt the butter on a large soup pot.  Add the leeks and garlic scapes and brown lightly.

Add the two types of squash and stir until coated with the butter. Add the water, bring to a boil and cover. Let simmer 30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.

Puree the soup with an immersion blender. Add the cream and salt to taste

Serve hot or cold.

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Thai Carrot And Kabocha Squash Soup

This is a recipe that I developed for the Cafe that I am doing this weekend for Brattleboro West Arts Group of which I am am member. I wanted something vegan to go with the other items on the menu.


1 dried Thai red chili , seeds removed, or not if you like it spicy
3 lbs Kabocha squash, half inch chop
.5 lb butternut squash, half inch chop
1 lb carrots, sliced
.25 cup oil ( I use a mix of olive and canola )
1 lb onions, diced
1 cup celery, sliced
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1 stalk of lemon grass, sliced
1 oz fresh ginger, chopped
2 cans of coconut milk plus 2 cans of water
1 Tbs vegetarian vegetable bouillon
3 cups of water
1.5 Tbs kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

Chop, dice and mince vegetables.

In a large soup pot, heat the oil until hot. Add the onion and cook, stirring until starting to brown. Add the garlic and celery along with the hot chili broken into pieces, ginger and lemon grass. Stir and cook for a few more minutes. Add the squashes and carrots. Lower the heat. Cover the pot with a piece of waxed paper and put the lid on top. Let the vegetables sweat for 10 minutes. Stirring regularly. This intensifies the flavor.

Lift the lid and remove the waxed paper. Add the coconut milk, vegetable bouillon, all the water.
Cover and continue cooking until all of the vegetables are very soft.

If there are stringy pieces of lemon grass remove them from the pot. If you do not want it hot, pick out the Thai Chili.

Let cool a bit. Season with salt and pepper. Puree with an immersion coil.
If you are using a cuisinart let it cool a lot first as they can explode with too much liquid or if it is too hot.

Makes approximately 16 cups

You can substitute Thai Red Chili Paste for the whole chili. Watch the heat level.

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Passover Matzo Balls

I am sending this early so that you can all try these Matzo Balls for the holiday. They float!  My mother’s recipe and her holiday china!

Matzo BallsIngredients:

5 whole eggs plus one yolk
1/4 cup of plain seltzer
1 tsp salt
dash of ground pepper
1 cup matzo meal
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 T. finely chopped parsley
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1 T matzo cake meal

Beat the eggs and yolk lightly until well combined. Add the seltzer, salt and pepper. Mix. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until combined. The batter will be sticky.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Fill a wide sauce pan with a good fitting lid with water, 2/3 of the way up. Add some kosher salt and bring to a boil.

Once the water is boiling, coat your hands with a bit of vegetable oil. Form the matzo balls using a large soup spoon. Roll in your hands and drop into the water. Oil your hands as needed. Once you have used all of the batter, cover with the lid and bring back to a boil. Once it is boiling turn the temperature down and:  DO NOT LIFT THE LID FOR 2 HOURS

Once they are done remove to a glass pyrex dish to cool. They can be frozen or kept in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days before adding them to your chicken soup.

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Spring Into Summer Soup

Serves 8


4 Tbs butter, unsalted
1 each leek, sliced and cleaned
3 scallions, sliced
2 head of lettuce, Bibb, Boston, or green leaf, chopped
2 bags of frozen peas
.25 tsp black pepper
5 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
2 Tbs. fresh mint, chopped
1 tsp fresh basil, minced
.5 tsp fresh thyme, minced
salt to taste
1 lemon, rind and juice
.5 cup light cream
dash of Tabasco sauce

Sour cream for garnish with whatever fresh herb you have.

Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the leeks and scallions and cook gently until starting to brown.
Add the chopped lettuce and let steam until wilted with the lid on. Remove lid and add peas, stock of your choice and fresh herbs, black pepper and a little salt. Cook for about 15 minutes or until everything is wilted and soft. You may add more herbs to your taste.

Let the soup cool. Using an immersion blender, blend everything. Add the lemon rind and juice, cream, tabasco, more salt if needed. Let cool in the fridge. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt, garnished with fresh herbs.

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