Comfort is a word that gets thrown around a lot when the weather turns. I love the comfort of a warm meal, cozy blanket and loved ones. To be awarded a comfort food I feel that it needs to be cooked for a large part of the day. The aromas of braising chicken or scratch soup just fill your heart and tummy with excitement. My favorite comfort food type is a well-balanced soup. This month I am giving you my favorite soup recipes and my Netflix password (kidding about the later) so you can cook relax and be in complete comfort.
Split Pea Soup
1 Each Ham Hock
1 Onion, Diced
3 Carrots, Peeled and Diced
4 Stalks Celery, Diced
2 Bay Leaves
1 teaspoon Chili Powder
2 Quarts Chicken Stock
2 Cups Split Peas
1 Cup Ham, Diced
1 Cup Peas, Frozen
Salt to taste
1) In a large pot add the ham hock and turn to medium heat.
2) Toast the ham hock for 5 minutes to release some flavor.
3) Add the celery, onion and carrot.
4) Cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables are translucent.
5) Add chili powder and bay leaves.
6) Add chicken stock and turn down to medium low heat.
7) Cook for 30 minutes.
8) Add split peas and cook for 15-20 minutes or until peas are soft.
9) Remove ham hock and puree soup with hand blender.
10) Add diced ham and peas and salt to taste.
11) Finish with a dollop of sour cream and a pinch of paprika.
Dungeness Crab Bisque
2 each 2-pound Dungeness crabs, cooked
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 tablespoon peppercorns, whole black
1/4 teaspoon fennel whole
1 each bay leaf
1 1/2 cup white wine
1 quart water
1 quart heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup calrose rice
salt to taste
1) Clean crab lungs and guts and then remove all meat out of crab reserving shells for soup.
2) Heat a large sauce pot to medium heat.
3) Add olive oil and crab shells and toast until red in color.
4) Add onion, celery, carrots and tomato paste and toast for 3 minutes.
5) Add peppercorns, fennel seed and bay leaf and toast for an additional 3 minutes.
6) Add white wine and cook until alcohol odor is gone from the pan.
7) Add water and simmer until water reduces by half. Skim the stock regularly with a ladle.
8) Add cream and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
9) Strain shells out of soup and then clean pot and replace soup back in pot.
10) Add rice and cook until rice is soft.
11) Strain rice out of soup and finish with picked Dungeness crab Meat and salt to taste.