Saturday, September 19, 2015

Stove Stories/Soupes

My late mother, Dorothy Sargent Boudreau, loved food. In our house we would discuss what we were would eat at dinner when we were eating lunch. My mother was more of a gourmet cook, my grandmother a traditional New England Yankee cook.

My mother was also a reporter and after her retirement had a food column in The Lawrence Eagle-Tribune. Then she put together a cookbook that was never published.
She always believed that food included memories of who you were with, what you talked about and the traditions around the meal.

Here are some of her soup recipes.

As for tradition, I served the peanut soup to my husband and daughter. I loved it. They were less impressed, but I plan to do it as an entree for a future dinner party but I think I'll increase the amount of peanut butter. I was lucky I had sherry. A friend brought it to me in Southern France from the UK so that recipe builds more memories.


There's something comforting about a hearty soup! And, contrary to some opinions, meatless soups
can be hearty and satisfying. And this one in particular is delicious the first day and what you make it on the second and third days.
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups cooked cabbage, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 3 whole mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 small turnip, finely diced
  • 3 or 4 leaves spinach
  • 1 medium zucchini, finely diced
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Few leaves of rosemary
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
Combine in a 3 quart sauce pan, cover with water and cook over very low heat until comes to a boil.

Then simmer for 1 1/2 hours and serve piping hot with pumpernickel.

You'll have about 8 cups.

A day or two later use your imagination, maybe add some chick peas, some green beans, rice.

Later in the week, add some more tomatoes, a few peas, broccoli or whatever suits your fancy.

Replenish the stock with chicken broth, or beef, if you'd rather.

What a soup kettle you'll have!


One of my very favorite soups, this is a conversation piece. The flavor is haunting, elusive and
delicious. This recipe will serve four or two if you like it as much as I do.
  • 1 tbsp. butter 1 tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Paprika
Melt butter in heavy soup kettle over low heat, blend in flour and remove from heat.

Blend in peanut butter.

Scald milk (heat to just boiling point) and add gradually, stirring constantly.

Return mixture to low heat, stirring until its steaming hot, but NOT boiling.

Add sherry and salt.

Serve at once, with a dusting of paprika and freshly ground pepper.

Put a few peanuts in each cup.

Love it! Love it!


This is in no way your traditional New England fish chowder, but it is easy and delicious. I've tried
adding salt pork to the original recipe given me. It seems to make this chowder even better.

Really, I don't remember which aunt contributed this many years ago, but I do know it's a favorite with family and friends.
  • 1/4 lb. at least of salt pork
  • 2 lbs of haddock or cod fillets
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • Several  chopped celery leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 dried dill seed
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup Vermouth
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 3 cups light cream
Bake the fish until flaky.

Add all ingredients to 3-quart sauce pan with 3 cups boiling water.

Simmer until vegetables are done.

Add Vermouth and 3 cups light cream. (Note: there's chopped parsley in the photo)


Ginger Dawn Harman said...

Wow! Your mother had the writing gene! I have never had cream of Peanut soup. That sound real interesting. It might be a fun ebook to share these recipes and have a short story attached. You already have the prologue written above!

DL NELSON said...

My mother became a journalist in her 50s