Category Archives: Soups

New England Clam Chowder…’tis the season for soup!

Fall leaves are changing colors… red, orange, yellow… crisp cool nights, dry sunny days…aaahhh, ’tis the season for soups! This is my favorite time of year – Fall in New England. Of course, I’ve never lived anywhere else so I don’t really know the seasons that happen all over the world. But, here in New England, this is a beautiful time of year. My drive to work makes me smile – mountain sides and lake shores dotted with colorful trees. Plus, the Fall nights are cool and crisp, so I can snuggle into my comforter for a good night’s sleep.

Because the weather has turned cooler, it’s okay to cook warm foods again. Letting a pot of soup, stew or chowder simmer on the stove is perfect at this time of year. The aroma fills the kitchen and gives me a cozy feeling. This recipe for New England Clam Chowder is somewhat non-traditional because I add carrots, corn and chicken stock. Most traditional recipes add bacon to the chowder to add a subtle smoky flavor and use clam juice as the stock. The nice thing about soups and chowders is they can be so easily adapted to whatever you have in the refrigerator. I have occasionally added sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes which adds a slightly different flavor. Be creative – use ingredients you like and enjoy!


New England Clam Chowder (Gluten-free)

5 small new red potatoes, unpeeled
3 celery stalks + celery leaves
2 medium carrots
½ small onion, chopped
¼ cup frozen corn
2½ cups chicken stock
½ teaspoon dried dill
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 (6.5 oz) cans chopped clams or small baby clams, drained
1 pint heavy cream
Sprinkle of dried parsley flakes

Rinse the potatoes, celery and carrots, dice them into bite-sized pieces and put them in a large pot. Add the onion and corn. Pour in the liquid stock, add the spices and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer until potatoes and vegetables become soft. Add the clams and continue to simmer another 10 minutes. About 5 minutes before serving, add the heavy cream and heat gently. Serve with gluten-free crackers (ex. Glutino) or gluten-free warm bread. Makes about 4 servings.



Posted by on September 29, 2012 in Soups


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Tomato Vegetable Soup…gluten-free, low fat, good for you!!

Now that winter has officially settled in to Maine (cold temperatures and 8 inches of snow on January 12th), and the holiday eating frenzy is over, a nice warm, healthy soup is the best thing to start the new year. My mother made this soup often while I was growing up, although I have changed it to suit my tastes, as usual!!

I make a big pot of this soup and we have it for lunch and dinner several times during the week. I have also seen my mother freeze this soup, which is a great idea for couples or singles – so it doesn’t become boring as you eat it for the 6th time…

As with any recipe and especially with soup, the variations are endless. Add whatever vegetables are in the fridge, leftover rice, gluten-free pasta or bits of meat, and pick your favorite spices and stock. Although I use a beef stock for this soup, it can easily be made with vegetable stock for vegetarians. Bon appetit!!

Tomato Vegetable Soup (Gluten-free)

3 carrots, diced

3 celery stalks, including leaves, diced

1 small onion, chopped

1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms

2 cups thinly chopped green cabbage

1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes

6 cups beef stock

2 teaspoons dried parsley (can use 1/4 cup fresh chopped)

2 teaspoons dried basil (can use 1/4 cup fresh chopped)

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Place all chopped and diced vegetables into a large pot. Add canned tomatoes. Add stock and spices. Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are cooked. Add more liquid if the soup is too thick.


– Can add chopped broccoli, spinach, summer squash, etc. to pot in addition or to replace any vegetables above.

– Can add 1/4 cup rice to pot before boiling


Posted by on January 14, 2012 in Soups


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Potato Leek Soup with Crabmeat… Wow!

A "10"? You decide...

Winter has been slow in coming to Maine this year. We’ve had unusually warm temperatures, after the foot of wet snow the day before Thanksgiving! That snow is gone now, but we had a little dusting last night. I hope we get a bit more in time for Christmas. I’ve always lived in New England and Christmas without snow is just not right! I like a cold and white Christmas season!

Another reason I like the colder weather is the chance to eat more hot soups. Sometimes they’re the whole meal and sometimes just a starter. This past weekend, I decided to try a new one. I’d bought a leek at the grocery store in hopes of turning it into a yummy soup. I have a cookbook that specializes in Maine soups (Superb Maine Soups by Cynthia Finnemore Simonds — ), so I looked there first. I liked her recipe, but as my usual scientific nature took over, I experimented with it, changed it and made it my own!

My husband rated this soup a “10” followed by a “Wow”! I should clarify that my husband is not a picky eater, but because he is now eating gluten-free food, the “Wow” factor is sometimes harder to get. The crabmeat I added to this soup made it really filling and it was our main meal for the day, with a simple gluten-free roll on the side. I’m sure it would also taste great without the crabmeat – your choice!

Potato Leek Soup with Crabmeat

 1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

1 celery stalk, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

1 leek  (slice vertically, remove roots and dark green leaves), rinse and chop finely

6 small new potatoes, diced, skin on

1 clove garlic, minced

dash of salt/pepper

3 cups vegetable stock

¼ teaspoon dried dill

6 oz. crabmeat, fresh or canned

1 can (12 oz.) whole evaporated milk

In a large soup pot, heat oil and butter on medium-high heat until melted. Add chopped celery, carrot and leek and sauté until tender. Add in diced potatoes and garlic. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Slowly pour in vegetable stock. Add dried dill, turn the heat down to simmer and cook until potatoes are soft when stuck with a fork. Once potatoes are soft, use a potato masher to break up the large chunks of potatoes. (It does not have to be a uniform texture.) Add the crabmeat and evaporated milk and simmer until heated through. Serve with a pinch of fresh chopped parsley, if desired. Makes 4 servings.


Posted by on December 8, 2011 in Soups


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Thai Chicken-Coconut Soup!

Thai food is one of my favorite ethnic cuisines. My husband and I went to a Thai restaurant for dinner the other night and had this soup as part of our meal. It was so delicious! I remembered I found this recipe online last year and made it for a New Year’s Eve party. Everyone loved it! So, I had to share my version of this simple recipe! I adapted it to use more common ingredients. It can be challenging, living in rural Maine, to find a good ethnic grocery store…  It may not taste exactly like the Thai restaurant version, but it is still really good.

Thai food has so many great flavors – spicy hot, sweet and spicy, lemon or lime, fruity, nutty, savory – and sometimes that’s all in one dish! My husband likes it too, because many of the dishes are naturally gluten-free, so no alterations are necessary.

I hope you enjoy this soup – let me know in my comment section!

As with any recipe, especially soup, you can alter the amounts of spices to your taste preference. Don’t be afraid to experiment – do it gradually and you may create a great new dish!

Thai Chicken-Coconut Soup (Gluten-Free)

3 cups chicken broth

1 (14 oz.) can coconut milk

1/3 cup finely grated fresh ginger

1 cup bite-size pieces of boneless, cooked chicken

½ cup sliced white mushrooms

1½ tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

¼ teaspoon minced fresh garlic

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Combine chicken broth, coconut milk and ginger in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir for 1 minute. Add chicken meat and stir for 1 minute. Add mushrooms, lime juice, sugar, fish sauce, red pepper flakes and garlic and stir for 1 minute. Pour into individual soup bowls and top each with fresh cilantro. Makes 4-5 servings.

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Posted by on November 13, 2011 in Soups


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