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January 2004 Issue
Soup's On
by Ronda L. Halpin
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I first made this light version of a chowder one summer when my garden was producing chives at a record pace and I couldn't justify any more baked potatoes! It's an incredibly simple soup that's made even easier if you have an immersion blender that can be used right in your stockpot. If you don't, you can just as easily blend the soup in batches in an ordinary blender. Just be very careful! Hot liquid in the blender can cause a lot of trouble if you aren't careful about pouring, processing and returning the broth to the stockpot. The wonderful thing about this bisque is that if you take a bit and hold it in your mouth with your eyes closed, you can just barely imagine that spring is not too terribly far away!


Mushroom-Chive Bisque

This highly-flavored bisque is definitely on the light side. It's a wonderful blend of traditional comfort foods with just a hint of spring that's offered by fresh chives.
  • 2 (14 oz.) cans vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 c. chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 (12 oz.) can fat free evaporated skim milk
  • 2 cloves garlic -- minced
  • 2 shallots -- minced
  • 8 oz. mushrooms -- sliced
  • 1 T. olive oil
In a deep pan, combine the vegetable broth, chives, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 7 minutes or until the chives are soft. Add the evaporated skim milk. Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture until it has a homogeneous consistency and is pale green in color.

Meanwhile, sauté the garlic, shallots, and mushrooms in the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Before serving, add the sautéed vegetables to the broth and mix to combine. Warm thoroughly and garnish with fresh chives, if desired.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

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