Category Archives: Soup

Gumbo from Canada

It is cold here. There is snow on the ground. I made andouille the other day. Conditions were perfect for making gumbo!

This Cajun dish is delicious. A touch of spice, a deep dark texture and a mixture of shellfish, chicken and andouille. While I love this version, I apologize to all of Louisiana for my corruption of their recipe.

A video of me cooking this dish is embedded at the bottom of the post.

The ingredients required are:

  • 3/8 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cups diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/8 cup (1 ounce) soy sauce
  • 3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, diced
  • 1/4 pound Andouille sausage, diced (may substitute garlic sausage)
  • 1/3 pound prawns, shelled, deveined
  • 1 /2 pound scallops

Cook the flour in a heavy pot (a thin one will burn the flour) over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is a light tan colour. Remove from the heat and stir in the oil. Cover the pot and put it on the lowest rack of a 350 F oven for 35 minutes to darken the roux (the mixture of oil and flour).

Stir the roux and put over medium heat. Add onion, green pepper and celery and stir frequently until the vegetables begin to soften. Add garlic, thyme, cayenne and 1/2 tablespoon flour. Stir until you can smell the garlic and thyme. Add tomatoes and cook for a minute or two.

Slowly add chicken broth while stirring thoroughly. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Add the soy sauce. Add the chicken and simmer for 30 minutes.

At this point, I allow it to cool and put it in the fridge so I can finish it quickly later. You don’t have to let it cool and can continue to finish the gumbo.

Stir the andouille into the gumbo and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the prawns and scallops and simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve it over cooked rice and bow to the south to thank the Cajuns who invented this great dish!

The Old Fat Guy

Garlic Sausage Soup

I love homemade soup. I make it with ingredients I have on hand and it always makes canned soup seem like seawater. Most commercial soups rely on salt to bump the flavour. I found I was out of soup so I started making a batch. This is what turned out.

I started by blanching some tomatoes in hot water for one minute and then rinsing them in cold water. Then, I cut the stem core out and chopped them in large chunks. I ended up with about 500 ml (2 cups) of chopped tomatoes.

I chopped up about 250 ml (1 cup) of onions, 1 clove of garlic and about 175 ml (3/4 cup) of trimmings from my homemade back bacon. You could use regular bacon I guess, if you must.

I microwaved some homemade fresh garlic sausage. If you haven’t made your own garlic sausage (poor devil), you can substitute polish or garlic sausage and you won’t have to precook it. Cut it in bite size slices. You want about 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) of sausage.

In a large pot over medium heat, melt 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of butter or margarine. When it starts to foam, throw in the onions and garlic and saute for 2 minutes.

I added the diced bacon and sauteed until the bacon started to colour the bottom of the pot, about 5 minutes.

I added the sausage and sauteed for 2 more minutes. You’ll note the pot starts to get brown stuff stuck to the bottom. That is just what you want!

At this point you need to add 3 liters (6 cups) chicken stock. Now, my chicken stock was homemade (whose isn’t) but it was in the freezer. I microwaved one container to get it liquid and threw the others in frozen. I added the tomatoes. You can use canned or packaged stock if you are underprivileged and don’t have homemade.

I increased the heat to high to bring it to a boil. While it was getting up to temperature, I chopped up 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) of green and yellow beans that I had grown (you do grow your own vegetables, don’t you?). You can use carrots, peas, broccoli, or whatever vegetables or you like.

When the soup came to the boil, I lowered the heat to low to simmer. I added the beans, 2 ml (1/2 teaspoon) each of dried thyme, rosemary and oregano. I also added 3 ml (3/4 teaspoon) of extra hot Cajun spice. You can use any spice blend you like, just add it a little at a time until you like the flavour.

I let it simmer for 45 minutes and then added 1/2 cup of orzo pasta and let it simmer 20 minutes more.