I have lived in Boston for nearly 10 years now, and just like Lobster Rolls in the summer, this is one of those dishes that makes me love living in a place with truly distinct regional cuisine. New England Clam Chowder is particularly heart-warming on cold winter days, like today. Chowder purists – of which there are many in these parts – may take offense to my addition of shrimp but to be honest I didn’t want to spend $30 on clams – so I used fewer clams and substituted some chopped shrimp for seafood flavor and texture. I took cues from a few different recipes, some used wine, others chose salt pork over bacon, and some used multiple types of potatoes. This recipe makes the best use of what I had from my share as well as what I had on hand in my kitchen. If you’re calling me a heretic for the addition of shrimp and fennel, I feel you; I have those same strong feelings about chiles rellenos. For a really traditional chowder, skip the shrimp, substitute more onion for fennel, and double the amount of clams by weight, while keeping everything else the same. However, as a New England Clam Chowder lover I am a fan of this recipe – it’s not super thick, it is slightly unorthodox, but it is very, very tasty. Pass me a spoon and a Guinness and I will make it though the winter just fine.
There are few meal experiences I enjoy more than a steamy cup of comforting soup while I can hear the wind howling outside my window. This week’s share offered a wonderful fall change up with a lot of new items. I roasted some celeriac and parsnips along with a beautiful head of cauliflower, puréed then mixed with a quick vegetable stock made from some of the carrots, celeriac stalks, and onions in this weeks share. All of this comes together to create a slightly sweet and earthy soup. Topped with a little arugula and served with some lovely crusty bread makes the perfect cold weather lunch.
I have been in California for nearly two weeks and am just getting my head back in the game. When I left for the West Coast it was still warm and a little muggy here, with the first hints of fall, but when I returned it was full on sweater weather. Even some of the leaves around my house are starting to turn orange and red. Surprisingly I still had a few tomatoes in my share – I used them to make this cozy, silky, and deceptively simple soup. I say deceptive because the depth of flavor is so rich and layered, giving a nod to summer produce but looking ahead to fall. Hopefully this soup recipe comes at the right time to take advantage of the last of your tomatoes, while staying warm at the start of what is arguably the best time of year here in New England.