Well ladies and gents, fall is finally here for real. No more 70 degree days and 60 degree nights. Which means only one thing over here…
It’s time for soup.
I’m a big soup lover. Growing up Caribbean, anything made a soup. If you had chicken scraps, you had chicken soup. Beef bones? Beef soup. Veggie scraps? Soup. Peas? Soup. In all reality, though I have no factual basis at the moment to back this up, I’m fairly certain that part of the reason that soup was invented was to stretch food and to also find a reason to get rid of scraps and such. Either way, soup gets me hyped.
Don’t judge me.
I’m a huge fan of cream based soups as well as hearty, chunky, stew typed soups. Many Caribbean style soups, such as corn soup (which probably the last ingredient in it is corn) and red pea soup with “spinners” are thick, rich, and hearty, full of starchy vegetables that we call ‘provisions’. It’s probably why I like chowders so much. I created my Southwestern corn chowder (link) for cool summer nights, to feature the beauty of summer corn. Now, with fall in full swing and wild salmon at its best, this seafood chowder I’m about to hit you with is rich and hearty, and simple. It also combines a classic New England chowder concept with Caribbean flair.
1 teaspoon oil
1 pound leeks, sliced down the middle and double rinsed
1 pound parsnips
1 pound Vidalia onions
½ pound celery, leaves included
½ pound green pepper
¼ pound parsley, stems included
1 pound salmon scraps
6 quarts water
So. First things first. A good soup, any good soup, starts with the stock you use. Some soups, like chicken noodle, the stock can be made the same time as the soup. Since we are doing seafood, the stock should be done separately so as to maintain the integrity of the fish – nothing worse than a piece of overcooked fish!
For this stock, I used salmon scraps because we are making a chowder with salmon. I also used parsnips instead of carrots because traditionally, fish soups are clearer and carrots change the flavor and the color. Parsnips have the same effect as carrots – without the color. Start by heating up a large pot with your teaspoon of oil. Then, little by little, add your
1 pound wild salmon steaks
1 pound large tiger shrimp *
1 cup Vidalia onions, diced
½ cup celery, diced
½ cup leeks, double cleaned and sliced
¼ cup each red and green pepper
1 ¼ cups yellow plantain, peeled and diced
1 ¼ cups cassava**, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon each onion powder and garlic powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika