Corn Sausage Chowder

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It seems that this is going to be a recipe-type week here at Making of a Home.  As we inch closer to the growing season, we have been eating lots of food from our larder, to make space for this year’s bounty.  Last night I grabbed bell peppers, sweet corn and chicken stock from our deep freeze and came up with this recipe from those ingredients.  This is a hearty soup that will put some meat on your bones during these damp, April-shower-filled days.

In a stock pot, heat 1/2 stick butter and 2 tablespoons flour over medium heat to make a roux.  Stirring constantly, heat this mixture until it turns a rich caramel color.

Add 1 diced red pepper, 1 diced green pepper, and 1 diced yellow onion to the roux mixture.  Cook the vegetables until the onions become translucent.  Be sure to stir often, scraping all of the roux-goodness from the bottom of the pan while you stir.

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While the veggies are cooking, cook 2 pounds ground sausage in a skillet.  Once cooked, set aside.

Add 1 quart chicken stock, 2 cups whole milk, 1/2 cup cream, 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 pepper to the vegetable mixture.  Simmer, with the lid on, for 20 minutes.

Add the kernels from 4 ears of sweet corn, the cooked sausage from earlier, and 8 ounces shredded Monterey jack cheese.  Simmer uncovered for 45 minutes to one hour.

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Garnish the chowder with a dollop of sour cream if you desire.  Enjoy!

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*A note about all my recipes:  I use all organic ingredients, local when available.  I use non-homogenized milk, and all of the dairy we use is from animals raised on pasture. I also use oils that are non-GMO verified.  All our meat is raised locally on organic feed, and our beef is grass-fed, grass-finished.  All our spices and cane sugar are fair-trade certified and purchased through a cooperative.

A Year In Review

It is hard to believe that this blustery day in February marks the one year anniversary of Making of a Home.  Thank you so much to all of you who have been following my musings over the course of the last year!  I am deeply grateful for each of you.

Today I would like to share with you some of my favorite (and your favorite) posts from this past year.  Thank you again, and be on the look out for some new and exciting changes and additions to Making of a Home over the course of the next year.

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Chocolate Anyone?

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Inspiration

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Laundry Day

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Upstream

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Let Them Read

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Rhubarb Goodness

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Spring Soup

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It’s In My Blood

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Pastaless Lasagna 

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Fuasa—Italian Easter Bread

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Generational Wealth

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Farm Fresh

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Ode to the Strawberry

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Retreat

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Grandma Dit’s Carrot Cake

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Canning Day

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New Chapter

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Suburban Homestead

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Walk with Us

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Thanksgiving 2012

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Musings

Jerusalem Artichokes

After reading an article in Mother Earth News a few weeks ago, I felt inspired to try a new veggie!  The article discussed a variety of perennial vegetables, in addition to asparagus and rhubarb which tend to be the perennial veggies that people are most familiar with, but the one that caught my eye was the Jerusalem artichoke.  I was very intrigued by these perennial tubers.  Jerusalem artichokes (also known as sunchokes because they produce beautiful yellow flowers similar to a sunflower) can prepared in much the same fashion as a potato.

I was thrilled when I walked into my natural foods store yesterday and found a giant basket of Jerusalem artichokes nestled in amongst the locally grown kale and spinach!  I grabbed a bag of these little guys and headed home with an idea in my mind to create some form of soup with them.

So yesterday, with a tiny two-year old sous chef by my side, I started my experimental run with Jerusalem artichoke soup.

I first put 4 tablespoons of butter in a stock pot.  After the butter was melted I threw in one diced yellow onion and 2 diced leeks.

I cooked these veggies down until tender.  Then I added 10 medium Jerusalem artichokes that I had diced (I left the peels on for added nutrition).  I then covered all of the veggies with about 2 quarts of pork stock that I had on hand.  I then covered the pot, and let the veggies simmer for about 20 minutes.

While the veggies simmered, I fried up a pound of bacon. (A note…my girls ate about 2 strips each, so it ended up being a bit less than a pound of bacon that I actually ended up putting in the soup 🙂 )  When the bacon was cool enough the handle, I chopped it up into bite-sized pieces.

Once the Jerusalem artichokes were tender, I ran an immersion blender through the soup.  Then I added 1/2 cup heavy cream and 8 oz Havarti cheese (shredded).  After the dairy was incorporated, I added the chopped bacon to the soup.  I flavored with salt and pepper from there are viola…Jersusalem artichoke soup!

I hope you enjoy this great little veggie that has gone unnoticed for so long here in our house.  The soup had a very similar texture to that of potato soup, but with a slightly sweeter taste.  I would say that this experiment turned out to be a success.

Spring Soup

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I have a bit of a crush on Jamie Oliver.  In fact, this year our Thanksgiving meal featured all dishes we gathered from various Jamie Oliver cookbooks.  I am just in love with his fresh approach to food, and that is why I find myself constantly reaching for one of his recipes time and time again when it comes to feeding my family.

My all time favorite cookbook of his is Jamie at Home:  Cook Your Way to the Good Life.  The cookbook is broken down by season, and also explains how he grows the many vegetables highlighted in the recipes.

Yesterday, when I looked out my kitchen window and saw all of those asparagus sprouts reaching out from beneath the soil, I knew it was time for my favorite spring soup.  The recipe below is an adaptation of a recipe from Jamie at Home by Jamie Oliver.

1 1/2 lbs. asparagus (chopped)

2 white or yellow onions (chopped)

2 leeks (chopped)

2 celery stalks (chopped)

3-4 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 lb fresh spinach

3 quarts stock (You can use any stock of your choice here, depending on your preference.  The soup I made last night featured pork stock.)

salt and pepper to taste

Put the olive oil in a large stock pot and heat over medium to high heat.  Then add your onions, leeks, and celery.  Cook until the veggies are tender, but not browning.  Add the chopped asparagus and spinach.  Stir a bit more until the asparagus is warmed and the spinach begins to wilt.  Then add your stock, cover the pot and turn down the heat.  Let the mixture simmer for about 10-15 minutes.  Take the lid off and run an immersion blender through the soup.  Salt and pepper to taste.

I normally then poach some fresh eggs and add those to the soup once it has been dished up.

Enjoy!