This week we interrupt our series on romantic fall packages to bring you some comfort food that just may be needed as we face the end of daylight savings time and election day all in a row! We will resume that series next week.
As we move into cooler days and longer nights, nothing beats a steaming crock of soup. Few would disagree with the Distinctive Inns of New England (DINE) that a warm bowl of soup in just about the best comfort food anyone could hope for. And comfort is something we all need as much of as possible.
We’ve asked the innkeepers at DINE’s ten member inns to share some of their soup recipes. Below you’ll find a number of never-before-seen recipes, and a few oldies but goodies that we go back to over and over again when we need a delicious bowl of soup.
Enjoy these soup recipes from DINE inns this fall and winter.
Gluten free Sweet Potato Coconut Curry soup from Rabbit Hill Inn
2 large sweet potatoes (about 2 lbs.)
4 TBSP unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
2 large shallots, chopped
2 cups coconut milk
3 1/2 cups of water
4 tsp kosher salt
1½ tsp fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
1 TBSP Vadouvan curry powder
2 tsp finely chopped fresh chives
Nice high quality olive oil (such as olio verde extra virgin)
Peel the sweet potato and cut into 1″ dice. Set aside.
In a 3-4 quart saucepan, melt butter over medium to low heat
Add shallots to butter and cook, stirring occasionally until the shallots are soft but not colored, about 5 minutes.
Add coconut milk, 3 1/2 cups of water, 4 tsp of salt, and curry powder. Stir.
Add the sweet potato , then increase the heat to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until the sweet potato are cooked thoroughly (should be able to pierce with a knife).
Puree the soup in batches in the blender. Pass it through a fine mesh strainer, pressing the solids with a ladle, into a bowl or clean saucepan. Discard the solids.
Gently reheat the soup, Stir in the lime. Season to taste with additional salt, curry powder, and more lime juice, as desired.
Divide soup among 6 serving vessels. Top with chives, a pinch of curry, and a drizzle of olive oil.
Recipe yields: 6 hearty servings. This soup freezes well.
Chesterfield Inn’s New England Clam Chowder
This easy, yet hearty recipe hits the spot on a cooler day
2 ounces butter
¼ cup flour
1 onion, finely diced
5 slices bacon
8 cups minced clams in juice
1 ½ cups heavy cream
6 potatoes, cut into ½ inch cubes
Cut potatoes into ½ inch cubes. Cook potatoes 7 minutes in salted boiling water, then Drain.
Melt butter, add diced onion and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add flour and stir over low heat for 4 minutes.
Add clams and cream. Heat to a low boil.
Add potatoes. Heat through.
Coconut Lime Soup from Manor on Golden Pond
Spice it up with some heat as you like!
1 pint chicken stock
1 can (13.5 oz) coconut cream
the juice of 2 limes
3 oz. peeled ginger, chopped
1 T coriander seeds, cracked or course ground
1 clove finely minced garlic
salt to taste
1.5 cups finely diced assorted raw vegetables and herbs (We used button mushrooms, baby bok choy, red and yellow green peppers, zucchini squash, and shallot, but most anything will do. Raw chili peppers are excellent if you like spicy foods, for example.)
1/2 cups cooked free-range chicken, finely diced (thinly sliced cooked shrimp is also good).
Combine chicken stock, ginger, lime juice and coriander seeds in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring just to a boil, and then remove from heat and steep to infuse flavors — approx. 20 min. Strain to remove ginger and seeds.
Return infused stock to the heat, whisk in coconut cream, finely minced garlic and a few pinches of salt (to your taste) and bring to a simmer.
As soup heats, arrange raw vegetables and cooked chicken in warm soup bowls (warming the bowls in advance helps keep the soup hot).
Once the soup comes to a simmer, pour over the arranged garnish and serve immediately. The hot soup should warm the garnish and very gently cook the vegetables.
Each bowl can be finished with a few drops of fresh lime juice to add a bright, fresh tang.
And we couldn’t share soup recipes without including this favorite from the partnership of Grafton Inn and the Grafton Cheese Company!
Grafton Cheddar Ale Soup
This popular recipe, often served at The Old Tavern Restaurant at the Grafton Inn, serves a crowd!
1 garlic bulb, roasted
1 sweet onion, chopped & caramelized
1 red pepper, diced ¼ inch pieces
1 green pepper, diced ¼ inch pieces
1 carrot, peeled and diced ¼ inch pieces
2 shallots thinly chopped
2 quart vegetable stock
1 pint heavy cream
2 pounds, Grafton 1 or 2 Year Aged Cheddar (shredded)
1 22 oz McNeill’s Firehouse Ale (or other amber beer)
3 large Yukon gold potatoes, diced ½ inch pieces
¼ pound unsalted butter
Extra virgin olive oil
Sauté shallots, peppers, carrots until soft in 2 T olive oil and 1 T butter. Add bottle of beer and simmer 5 minutes.
Add caramelized onions, potatoes, stock and remaining butter. Simmer until potatoes are tender. Then turn off flame.
Add cream, roasted garlic and cheddar slowly with whisk. Puree in blender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh chives and croutons.
Yield 1 gallon.
If you’re seeking comfort food and a little pampering to go with it, book an escape with your favorite DINE inn. Next week we’ll be sure to bring you Part II of our series on romantic fall packages, featuring packages in New Hampshire and Massachusetts inns. Don’t forget to book directly with the inn!
Connecticut: Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic
Photos provided by Rabbit Hill Inn, Chesterfield Inn, Grafton Inn Vermont and Pexels.com.