Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hot soup for a cold day


JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING:  It's Sunday, we have almost two feet of snow on the ground (and falling) and that means soup at my house. I am the Queen of Quick Soups, many recipes of which I have from my mother, the Empress of Quick Soups. This start-with-one, end-with-two recipe is my own, however, devised by streamlining a couple more complicated soups into one easy process.


Start with two large soup pots. For both soups, you will need:

1/2 pound bacon, diced and divided
2 onions, chopped
diced potatoes - enough to fill each pot 3/4 full
chicken stock - enough to just cover the potatoes
4 bay leaves, divided

Saute half  the bacon with one onion in each pot. Fill with the diced potatoes, bay leaves, and cover with chicken stock. Boil gently until the potatoes are fork-tender. 

For the Baked Potato Soup:
1/4 to 1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded chedder cheese or to taste

Add the sour cream and the cheese. Stir until melted, then add milk until the soup looks nice and chowder-y. 

For the Corn Chowder:

1 can corn
1 can creamed corn

Add the corn, creamed corn, and the milk until it, too is nice and chowder-like.

We go very low-sodium in my house, but you can add salt to taste. I always like to crack a goodly bit of pepper into the pot as well. If you are cooking vegetarian, substitute finely diced celery and butter for the bacon, and use vegetable broth instead of chicken. You can add faux bacon bits at the end, if you like. Serve with warm bread or rolls and a nice wine.

Speaking of recipe here on Jungle Reds, we served Deb Crombie's Christmas Cocktails at our Christmas Day dinner for 24 and they were a huge hit. Spencer, who was tending bar, added extra juice and sparkling water, so they were light and refreshing. I highly commend them for all your holiday parties!


  1. Looks easy, sounds good, but I have a dumb man question. Can I change the cans of corn to cans of clams and make this Sorta New England clam chowder?

  2. Two feet of snow and it's still falling? Yikes!

    We love soup . . . especially when it’s cold . . . or rainy . . . or snowy . . . and both of these recipes sound absolutely yummy . . . thanks for sharing them with us.

  3. We only had an inch of snow yesterday, but we love soup and grilled cheese sandwiches on Sunday afternoons. Will pass the off to the wife and give them a try. Thanks.

  4. That makes it three for one Jack--brilliant!

    Love grilled cheese too Ken--count me in...

    Two feet of snow sounds pretty but glad not to be there:)

  5. Yum! I made my grandmother's recipe for bean soup yesterday. The house still smells good!

    We had about 4 inches, on top of the 3 already, plus a dusting last night..

  6. Jack,

    Absolutely. I make corn instead of clam chowder because my born-and-bred-in-Maine kids prefer it. Go figure.

  7. These soups sound perfect! I made a seafood stew for the day after Christmas.

    I also served Deb's Christmas cocktail on Christmas Day as well as at a party on the 28th - it was a big hit!

  8. Corn and potatoes - the perfect combination.

    My winter comfort food is mushroom potatoes -- sliced potatoes baked in a mushroom-soupy sludge.

  9. When I saw the title I thought--Oh, I don't need soup. Then I read the recipes. YUM YUM YUM!!!

    Corn and potatoes and bacon and cheese. Oh, gosh, nothing better. Oh, and toast.

    And we are COVERED with snow!

  10. I love the recipes, and the thought of soup on a snowy day is just dreamy. Now that I'm starving, I will think of you guys. :)

  11. Yummy, Julia! Both soups sound wonderful. Can you make the corn chowder with frozen corn instead of canned?

    And glad the cocktails were a success! The recipe is meant to be "juice and fizz to taste."

    I'm putting together the ingredients for black-eyed pea soup for tomorrow night, with leftovers for New Year's Day. Double good luck!

  12. I'm sitting here with a few feet of snow, too. Maine's been hit hard this year. But since I live at a ski area, it's considered white gold.

    I love soup. I'm saving these recipes. I actually made turkey soup after Christmas that was successful for the first time ever. (I think I always add too much water to the bones.)

    Thanks, Julia.

  13. It must have been the snowfall here in Connecticut last night, but I made split pea soup with ham and tiny star pasta (stelline). I'm not a fancy cook, but even I can manage this and end up with a bowl that is warm and hearty and comforting. How could we New Englanders get along without good soup?

    --Marjorie of Connecticut

  14. The soups sound both delicious & easy. I have all the ingredients so maybe tomorrow after work. Happy New Year from snowy AuSable Forks, NY!

  15. We're buried in snow as well here and very cold temperatures are forecast for tomorrow. I think I'll try both soups tomorrow.

    Hallie, I think you'd like my husband's Easy Steak Supper casserole--sliced potatoes, green beans, mushrooms, and steak in a mushroom soup sauce. It feeds six as long as none of the six are teenage girls.

  16. Julia, these look wonderful. My fourthie, to Jack's thirdie, is Corn and Cheese Chowder. Just add 1 cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese to your corn chowder. I learned about this recipe in first-year speech class. One of my fellow students presented it as a demonstration assignment. I still have the recipe cards she handed out. Perhaps I learned more in school than I'd previously thought.

    I need snow.