November 14th, 2010

Sourdough & ​​​​​​​​​​Clam Chowder​​​​​​​​​​

Rye sourdough bread & Clam Chowder
Lately I’ve been on a quest for the perfect sourdough bread. It began in June, and I have been making a lot of breads since then, some turned out Ok, and some really yucky – either too sour or too heavy. But then I bought this book, “The River Cottage Bread book”, and all of a sudden it all made sense. Reading about all the chemistry that goes on, during the bread making process, made a huge difference. So after a few successes I thought I would venture out and find some inspiration for different types of sourdough breads.

And since it’s impossible not to stumble on San Francisco and Boudin, when googling for sourdough, I ended up on a page with the most mouth watering images of sourdough bread bowls with Clam Chowder. I did a search for recipes for Clam Chowder, and found a lot of different ones. However I didn’t find exactly what I wanted, so in the end I made up my own variant, inspired by the recipes I read, and based on what was available in my kitchen.

Next time I think I will substitute half of the cream with fish soup stock, just to make it a little more low-fat. I’m sure you could leave the heavy cream out all together, and just replace it with fish soup stock. You might also want to add some cumin, and maybe some chilli flakes to spice it up or you could use fresh fennel instread or fennel seeds ….plenty of room for experimenting …Happy cooking​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​.
This is what I came up with, a delicious hearty comfort soup.

Clam Chowder

    250 g chopped clam, I actually ran it through the food processor and turned​​ it into a paste. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
    ½ yellow onion​​​​​, chopped
    2 shallot, minced
    4 garlic, minced
    3 stalks celery, chopped
    6 bay leaves
    1 tbsp oregano
    2 tbsp of fresh thyme
    1 tbsp ​fennel seeds, crushed
    2 diced sweet potatoes
    1 diced parsnip​
    500 ml heavy cream
    1000 ​​​​​ml fish soup stock​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
    slug of ​Olive oil​​​​​​​​
    1 tbs butter
    salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Add the butter and oil in a large ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​pot, add onion, garlic, shallot, and celery. Sauté for a bit, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
Then add the potatoes and parsnip, and stir for a couple of minutes.
Add stock, clam paste, bay leaves, oregano, thyme and fennel, and let it simmer until potatoes and parsnip are tender.
Stir in the cream, and season with salt and pepper. You could add flour diluted with water, in order to make a thicker soup, or you could just let the cream do it’s job…simmer til cream thickens, but don’t let it boil.
Remove bay leaves and serve. If you’re lucky enough to have a bowl of sourdough serve the hot soup in that, else just serve the soup with a good (sourdough) bread on the side.

Bon Appetit

Rumle

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