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Chef Brent has really come through for us this month.  He has come up with some great soups to warm the soul as well as socks for your leg health.

Hello and welcome to 2010! We hope you had a very happy holiday season filled with family and friends. We, in the Lancour family, had a great Christmas celebration filled with lots of great foods shared with family and friends. I am sure we all put on a few pounds. Now, the winter months are upon us and I would like to share with you some special soup and chowder recipes that are always a welcome dinner treat. They provide a hearty dinner that can be shared around the table along with salad, and fresh crusty bread and lots of conversation. They can be eaten slowly while you dip the breads into the broths and share the days happenings with family and friends.  Both of these soups are quick and easy to fix using mostly canned foods.  Perfect for a busy cook.  

Chef Brent Lancour

Fish-Corn-Bean Chowder

1 tbs (or less) olive oil
1 very large onion, chopped
1/2 garlic pod peeled and chopped
2 tbs fresh parsley, chopped
3 bay leaves
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 1/2 tsp fennel seed, ground
2 tsp coriander seed, ground
1/2 tsp fish sauce (can be purchased in the asian food isle, not necessary for this chowder)
2 cans diced or chopped tomatoes
1 lg potato, cubed
1 can white shoepeg corn
1 can great northern beans (drained and rinsed)
1 lb white fish (orange roughy or tilapia) cut in bite size pieces
Few dashes tobasco sauce to taste

This chowder is quick and easy just what you need for a cold winter night.
Seeds of herbs release their aromatic essence when toasted, so toss these seeds gently in a heated heavy pan before grinding.

Sauté onions in olive oil, when the onion start to turn translucent, add garlic.

Reduce heat and add tomatoes, fish sauce, bay leaves, fresh thyme, ground fennel and coriander seed, tobasco sauce and potatoes.

When potatoes are nearly done add fish and and cook until the fish flakes.

Add white shoepeg corn and great northern beans and serve when heated.

Serves 4

Pink Bean Soup

2 c pink beans (Cranberry Beans can also be used) picked over and soaked overnight in cold water to cover
1 tbs olive oil
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 slice thick bacon cut in small strips
1 – 2 tbs fresh rosemary chopped
2 cans chopped tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Discard any beans that come to the surface of the water.  Drain and rinse beans under cold water and put them in a pot.  Cover beans and bring to boil over medium heat.  Reduce and simmer until tender – about 1 hour stirring occasionally.

Drain the beans and set aside.  The beans can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated.

Heat oil in a large skillet add onion and bacon and cook until they begin to change color.  Add garlic and rosemary and cook for 1-2 minutes longer.

Add beans and stir in tomatoes, salt and pepper.  Cover with a lid and cook 10 – 15 minutes stirring a few times.

Serves 4

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