Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Poor girls’ ‘chilli Tuna chowder’

The weather has turned chilly these passed few days and I need a new stock cupboard staple recipe so here it is:

I like to sauté onions and celery for a long time (about 20 minutes over a low heat) like the Spanish do, until the onions are slippery smooth but not quite caramelized. I do this by frying them gently in butter & olive oil (the olive oil stops the butter burning).

Then open a can of tuna & drain. Open a can of Butter beans & drain. And if you’re a girl with a large store cupboard open a can of sweetcorn while you’re at it. I think that butter beans add a smooth creamy texture to this soup.

The three items above can all sit in the strainer to drain while the onions cook. Tonight I used frozen sweetcorn so they needed to be blanched to defrost them.

To bulk up and stretch this mix you could add cooked potatoes too.

Then I measured out half a pint of milk into a jug. And make half a pint of stock with a Knorr cube. (What ever takes your fancy) add to this liquid a tablespoon of sweet chilli sauce. A pretty colour and smoother on the palate than fresh or dried chilli flakes, but you could use these as an alternative.

Season with salt & pepper.

Once the sautéed onions & celery are ready add the main ingredients and the stock (but not the milk yet) let this glorious concoction simmer gently for 30 minutes on a nice low heat. If you need you can cook for longer but keep an eye on liquid levels.

Just before serving add the milk, turn off the heat and let stand.

Prepare bowls & any accompaniments like garlic bread or seeded knotted rolls. You could add grated cheese but I’m aiming to keep the calories down so go easy with any additional items.

And voila- a hearty soup, that’s cheaper and lighter on calories than the far richer version of smoked haddock, prawns, bacon & cream, which I now regard as a luxury and a treat.

Let me know if it's a hit or a miss...

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