Saturday, December 18, 2010

Broccoli Chowder and Drop Biscuits

Continuing the trend of recipes from my new cookbook, Appetite for Reduction, I made a few other recipes.  The dinner menu consisted of Pad Thai Salad, Broccoli Chowder, and Sweet Potato Butternut Squash Drop Biscuits.  See image below:

The broccoli chowder was easy to make and was a delight to have as leftovers today, when we have 3-5 inches of snow on the ground.

I started off with some vegetable chopping.  Beginning with a parsnip that weighed half a pound!  One parsnip!  Half a pound!  I am rather amused by excessively large produce, and this occasion was no exception.  There was another one that weighed over a pound, but I put it back because I don't really like parsnips all that much and I really only needed 1/2 a pound for this recipe anyway.  Behold, The Great Pumpkin Parsnip!

Then all of a sudden I went vegetable crazy and decided I needed to try the Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits recipe, as that would be very fitting with the evenings current menu.  The dilemma of what to use in place of a sweet potato was quickly remedied when I remembered I had a butternut squash on hand.

I just roasted it up while I got to work on the broccoli chowder, then scooped it out into this handy measuring cup.

I find it hard to keep vegetable broth in the house.  There are a few reasons for this.
1.  I don't like to haul the pre-made versions up three flights of stairs to my abode.  They are simply too heavy (Also the reason I don't buy much milk, pop, or juice).
2.  Once you make some, you have to use it within a reasonable amount of time or it spoils.  Of course, one could always freeze it.
3.  I have a really small freezer and its hard enough to fit normal stuff in there without it being stuffed with excess containers of broth.

One of the things I find challenging with bullion cubes is that they frequently have unnecessary corn by products, sweeteners, and general processed crap.  I'm trying not to eat a lot of that stuff, so I don't like regular bullion.

On a recent trip to Whole Foods, I came across this pretty baby, on sale, at a very reasonable price.  I don't remember what it was, but it was comparable to the price of the Knorr Vegetarian Vegetable Bullion I usually get.  Plus, it's vegan!  And quite tasty if I do say so myself.

Here we have some Yukon Gold potatoes boiling with the parsnip.
The recipe called for fresh broccoli, but I just couldn't pass up the ease of using frozen broccoli, so that's what I did.  I'm sure the soup would have a more appealing color if I'd cooked it less and/or used fresh broccoli, but I don't regret using the frozen stuff.

One of the best things I learned after college was that you should put some soups in the food processor...I never knew what I was missing.  There are a lot of foods that are much better when blended.  Take the Pumpkin Saag for example.  I think the recipe would have been just kind of blah without a little blender time.

This soup is another example of something that is good already, but blending it takes it to the next level of yum.

Plus, it made it look better in my teacup :)

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