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August 20, 2013

Recipe for quick and easy white clam chowder

White clam chowder, made quick and easy.

Here in New England, we love, love, love clam chowder. White, red, or clear -- where you come from probably determines your loyalty to one version or another. So what's a girl who was born in Manhattan (the home of red chowder), lived for decades in Boston (white chowder), and now spends most of her time in Rhode Island (clear chowder) to do? Well, if that girl were me (and she is!), she'd create her own chowder, the quick and easy kind. I'm partial to white chowders, made with the addition of milk or cream. And though I live near the water and can get fresh clams at my local fish market, I know many of you cannot, so I've used canned clams (our local favorites, from Iggy's, the clams we used in Rhode Island Recipes), and bottled clam juice in this recipe. Chowder is a summer tradition at clam shacks throughout Rhode Island, but it's a year-round comfort food that's easy to make in your own kitchen.

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June 20, 2013

Smoky corn chowder recipe

Smoky corn chowder, a meatless alternative, every bit as rich and creamy as clam chowder.

The first time I made this smoky corn chowder, to test the recipe, our friends Bob and Charlotte came for dinner. Bob, a wonderful potter, brought a new soup tureen he'd designed. I proclaimed the tureen a hit, and he ate three servings of soup, which I think qualifies as a hit, too. Here in New England, everyone loves chowder. Clam chowder, fish chowder, scallop chowder -- clear or white or, sometimes, red -- each has its devoted fans. If you don't eat fish or shellfish, you need not be left out of our lovefest; this fish-free corn chowder might become your new favorite. It has all of the heft of seafood chowders, plus added natural creaminess that oozes from the corn. Our season for fresh corn begins in a couple of weeks, and lasts only until early September; during the rest of the year, we rely on good-quality frozen organic corn, or Trader Joe's frozen fire-roasted corn, which doesn't need to be defrosted before you add it to the soup pot.

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April 25, 2013

Recipe for tomato vegetable soup with cheese ravioli {vegetarian}

Quick and easy tomato vegetable soup with cheese ravioli is perfect on a rainy day.

During a raging rain storm, when you can't work in the garden, you have time to do many things. Read a book. Take a nap. Build a fire in the fireplace. Talk to the cats. Root around in the pantry. This tomato vegetable soup with cheese ravioli is a forgiving soup. If you want to use up a bit of potato, toss it in. Fresh chives from your garden? Add a handful. Some shreds of rotisserie chicken? Sure, why not? Let Mother Nature have her temper tantrum. After all, you have a perfect pantry, and you can always make soup.

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April 2, 2013

Recipe for roasted cauliflower and potato soup {gluten-free}

Roasted cauliflower and potato soup with cheese.

It's not easy to learn to love something you have spent a lifetime detesting. For me, that something is cauliflower, so I've decreed that 2013 will be The Year I Learn to Love Cauliflower. Or, if not love, like. When you're incorporating something new into your diet, start with a dish you already know you will eat. In this case, I swapped cauliflower for half of the potatoes in a creamy rich potato soup, and topped it with sharp Cheddar cheese. What's not to love? Stay tuned as I continue my adventures in cauliflower. I'm pinning recipes ideas to a Cauliflower board on Pinterest, so please leave any links to your own favorite recipes in the comments. Then, make this soup. I loved it, and I know you will, too. By the end of the year, I'll be making it without the potatoes. I promise.

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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