Sweet Potato Clam Chowder with Bacon {Recipe}

Ingredients

  • 2 dozen Medium clams such as Manila OR 3 dozen Small clams such as Littlenecks
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 12-ounce bottle of clam juice, as needed
  • 1 cup Diced raw applewood smoked bacon: about 4 to 5 slices
  • 1 tablespoon of Cat Cora’s Kitchen by Gaea’s Kalamata D.O.P. Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium yellow onion, chopped (1 ½ cups)
  • 2 stalks Celery, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3½ cups Raw sweet potato, peeled and diced into 2-inch chunks (about ¼ pound)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups Half and Half

Instructions

Scrub the clams well. Spread them in an even layer in a large 12-inch frying pan with a lid. Add the water, cover, and bring to the water to a boil. Set a heatproof bowl nearby to hold the cooked clams. Cook the clams until the shells open, about 2 to 5 minutes. As a clam opens, remove it from the pan with tongs and plop it into the waiting bowl. Give the clams 5 minutes more to cook, transferring clams as they open. After 5 minutes, turn off the heat and discard any clams that remain closed. Pour the pan liquid through a fine-meshed sieve or cheesecloth to strain out any grit. You should have about 1 1/2 cups clam cooking liquid. If there is less than that, add enough bottled clam juice to equal this amount. Set the liquid aside. Transfer the clams, still in their shells, back to the pan and cover it with a lid to keep the clams from drying out while you finish the chowder.

Cook the bacon in a 3-quart soup pot until crisp and brown. When the bacon is done transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain, reserving 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat in the pot. Discard the rest of the bacon fat. Using the same soup pot in which you cooked the bacon, pour back in the 1 tablespoon of bacon fat, add the olive oil and heat over a medium flame for a few seconds; add the onion and celery. Cook vegetables until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes, clam cooking liquid, the bay leaf, salt and pepper. (Save the cooked bacon to sprinkle over the chowder just before serving.) Cover the pan and simmer just until the sweet potatoes are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

While the chowder simmers, remove the clams from their shell. You can use a paring knife or even a grapefruit spoon to scrape them out of their shells and into a bowl. Discard the shells. When the sweet potatoes are perfectly done, add the clams to the chowder. Pour in the Half and Half, heat gently until the chowder is piping hot, and ladle it into individual serving bowls. Sprinkle bacon around the edge of the chowder and serve.

Recipe and image courtesy of Celebrity Chef Cat Cora.

 

Steak, Bean & Pasta Soup {Recipe}

(Disclosure: I am taking part in the Beano “Be Natural” Virtual Cook-off. I was compensated for posting and received free products but thoughts are my own.)

Looking for the perfect Fall soup? Try this delicious steak and bean pasta soup for a hearty meal.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 diced sweet onion
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic
  • 1 whole red sweet pepper, diced
  • 1 pound of mushrooms
  • 16 ounce can of beef stock
  • 1 pound of flank steak
  • 1/2 cup of red wine
  • 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon of parsley
  • 1/2 pound of uncooked pasta
  • 1 can of kidney beans
  • 1 can of pinto beans
  • 1 can of corn
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • water (as needed)

Directions:

  • In a large pot, saute garlic, onion and red pepper in olive oil
  • Grill or broil steak until it’s cooked to medium rare (about 5 minutes)
  • Once steak is cooked, add steak to garlic, onion, pepper mixture
  • Stir in mushrooms, corn and beans
  • Stir in seasonings
  • Add beef stock and red wine and bring to a boil
  • Add uncooked pasta, 3 cups of water (you can add less if you want it thicker or more if you want it soupier), and tomato paste then turn down heat and simmer until pasta is fully cooked
  • Spoon into bowls and serve with bread if you’d like to.

It’s well known that beans make you “toot”. There is even a silly song to go along with that saying that many kids sing but did you know that many other foods cause gas, too? When I was given a list of gas inducing foods I was shocked. Pasta and sweet peppers (two foods I love) were both on that list! The recipe above has beans, pasta and some vegetables that are known to cause gas but if you’ve taken Beano before eating it you don’t have to worry about having gas, bloating or discomfort. Beano contains a natural food enzyme that breaks down the complex carbohydrates found in many foods, making them easier to digest so they don’t cause gas.

The recipe above was created as my entry into the Beano “Be Natural” Virtual Cook-off. This fun cook-off between a group of bloggers has a fun prize. At the end of the cook-off one lucky blogger and a guest will get to attend classes at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City.

(Disclosure: As stated above, I received compensation for this post.)

 

Acorn Squash Soup {Recipe}

There’s nothing better on a cold chilly night than a bowl of warm soup. This Acorn Squash Soup recipe was created by Bravo’s Top Chef, Richard Blais. By using Dannon Oikos Greek yogurt Blais makes the soup a little healthier, but still delicious!

Ingredients:

1 whole acorn squash

1/4 white onion,chopped

1 bay leaf

4 cloves garlic

2 tbsp celery, chopped

1 and a 1/2 quart chicken stock

1/2 cup Dannon Oikos plain Greek nonfat yogurt

1/2 cup chorizo, crumbled

2 tbsp cranberry canned jelly

3 leaves cilantro

1 tsp smoked paprika

Pomegranate seeds for garnish (optional)

Lime for ganish

Directions

1) In a stockpot, cook the onion, bay leaf, garlic and celery in some olive oil until garlic releases aroma.

2) Add the chopped acorn squash and then the chicken stock and simmer. When the acorn squash is cooked, swirl in Dannon Oikos plain Greek nonfat yogurt and remove from the heat.

3) In a separate pan, cook the chorizo and paprika.

4) When the squash is cooked thoroughly, puree the soup and pass through a sieve so it is smooth.

5) Garnish with the crumbled chorizo, the cilantro, pomegranate seeds, a squirt of lime and top with a dollop of yogurt.

(This is not a compensated post but the recipe was shared with me from Dannon.)