Saturday, September 5, 2015

Millionth Vegetarian Clam Chowder

Once upon a time, I had a fantastic recipe for a soup that the whole family loved. Everywhere this soup was brought, it made taste buds happy. And I could bring it anywhere; it was vegetarian! Then, the cooking website I always found it on no longer had it there; just like that. I searched through every single option offered on every food and recipe network/website and blog available; nowhere. So I had to re-make it up, and it took me this long. Tonight, after months of it turning out "OK," I tasted it; success? I think so...I had my mate and taste-tester with no compunctions about telling me; "eh, so-so," try it too. His verdict: "Success!" So I will share it, below. It's more or less my millionth attempt to get it right.
Do everything exactly as I say and it will turn out to be a treat, I promise. But tell me you substituted skim milk for the cream or celery salt or chili powder for the real things and all bets are off.  Bon appetit!

Millionth Vegetarian Clam Chowder

Oyster mushrooms (10 oz. fresh) (1.5 oz. dried)
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup chopped celery stick
1T Better than Bouillon (vegetable flavor) (or for a non-vegetarian, delicious version: beef)
2-3 red potatoes
1 cup frozen corn
1/4 of a dried chipotle pepper
1 1/2 c whole whipping cream
1/2-1 sheet of dried seaweed, ripped to tiny shreds 

For fresh mushrooms: chop and saute in olive oil with chopped celery and minced garlic until tender; 5 minutes. (For dried, see below.) Continue to simmer for 20 minutes or so to reduce. Boil a quart of water.

Add bouillon to boiling water. Add potatoes and mushroom mix. Cook 10 minutes. Add corn and chipotle pepper. Adjust salt to taste. When corn is hot (5 minutes or so), add the whipping cream and seaweed. Warm through and serve hot. 

For dried mushrooms: soak for 20-30 minutes (you can use the broth you've made with the bouillon.) Remove from water with a slotted spoon and add to the pan with the olive oil. 

Serve with a chilled Chardonnay or a dry Riesling. Homemade bread or a nice, crisp baguette goes well with it too. Now I'm making myself cry. If you find that baguette, drop one off here on your way home, will you? Enjoy!

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