A Tale of Two Soups, One Stock

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Who doesn’t love a two-for-one deal?! Whether you are grocery shopping, at the drugstore, or picking up your favorite comfy undergarments at a big box store. It makes you feel like you done good! You should feel that way in the kitchen.

In my last post, Taking (chicken) Stock, I made a large pot of stock with chicken parts from my freezer, mirepoix, aromatics and spices, amongst other ingredients. It yielded me about four quarts of delicious stock. I froze two and on the following day I put on my Sunday Morning Marley mix and my apron and two hours later my one stock made me two soups…and counting.

On deck was yellow split pea soup with smokey ham and my favorite fish stew. The latter normally calls for a fish stock, but after tasting a fish stew at my favorite wine bar Bin 71 and confirming my suspicions about the rich broth of the stew with the chef, it became my new MO!

And the “two-fer” continues as the recipes call for the same basic ingredients other than the chicken stock, so you just prep once! Let’s start with the yellow split pea soup.

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2 T coconut oil (or olive oil)
1 1/2 inch thick ham steak, cut into 1/2 inch pieces, reserve bone
2 medium carrots, large dice
1 celery stalk, large dice
1 medium onion, large dice
1 t salt
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1/2 t crush red pepper (optional)
3 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
1 lb dry yellow split peas, picked through and rinsed
4 cups homemade chicken stock
3 cups water
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 scallions, sliced thinly on the bias, to serve

In a Dutch oven over medium heat add oil and ham and sauté until slightly caramelized. Add carrots, celery, onion and season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper and sauté until onions are translucent. Add garlic and combine.

Add peas, stock, water, bay leaf, thyme and ham steak bone. Stir to combine all. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally, scraping the bottom. At 15 minutes taste for seasoning and readjust as needed. Add more water, one cup at a time, to thin to desired likeness.

Remove thyme stems, bay leaves and ham bone. To serve ladle into warm bowls, top with scallions, drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper. Or, cool completely and fill airtight containers to freeze or refrigerate.

Yields: 3 quarts

Next up is the fish stew. It’s simple, good and fast.

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2 T olive oil
2 medium carrots, brunoise (small dice)
1 celery stalk, brunoise, reserve celery leaves
1 small onion, brunoise
1 leek, white part, cut and washed (float in water so grit can settle to bottom of bowl)
1 t salt
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1/2 t crush red pepper
2 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
4 cups homemade chicken stock
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 lb wild cod, cut into 1 inch pieces, seasoned lightly with salt and pepper
1/2 cup parsley, roughly chopped
1/2 cup celery leaves, roughly chopped

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, sauté vegetables in olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and garlic. Once onions are translucent add stock, water, bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.

Add cod and bring pot back to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook just until fish is cooked 10 minutes should do. My preference is to look longer until the fish falls apart creating a more cohesive texture with the small diced vegetables. Taste and reseason as needed.

To finish, turn off heat, remove bay leaf and thyme stems add chopped parsley and celery leaves. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil. Or, cool completely and fill airtight containers to freeze or refrigerate.

Yields: 2 quarts

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Spending a little QT cooking these two delicious soups now will give you ease of mind when menu planning in a pinch. Just add a large salad, crusty buttered warm baguette, a little cheese and a bottle of wine and all is right with the world…and your belly.

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