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Plant A Row - Grow A Row

Get Ready to Sip, Slurp and Savour …
September 15, 2011

Plant a Row Grow a Row

Soupalicious Toronto Returns for a Second Helping on Weekend of October 1 & 2

Over 60 restaurants, caterers, cookbook authors, chefs and celebrities are set to stir up their pots and ladle out delicious soups on the weekend of October 1 & 2 at Heritage Court, Exhibition Place, Toronto, to support the veggie-gardening and food-sharing program, Plant a Row • Grow a Row. The soups will be served at Heritage Court at Exhibition Place which will be transformed into a harvest farm field with tables brimming with a medley of soups, made from vegetables and foods donated by local farmers, to fill bellies and nourish community spirits.

Supported by Celebrate Ontario and the volunteer efforts of chefs and farmers, Soupalicious Toronto will also showcase a series of cooking demonstrations hosted by Chef Corbin Tomaszeski of Dinner Party Wars, Gardener Expert, Mark Cullen, and Sportscaster, Rod Black.

Special soup-servers include Toronto Maple Leafs Stanley Cup Champion, Johnny Bower (who will be serving a fabulous Mushroom Soup) and Mantracker Sidekick, Phil Lemieux (who will be serving up “Prey Soup”). Recipes contributed by Sarah McLachlan (Zucchini Bread), Roberta Bondar (Tomato Salsa), Micky Dolenz (Pasta Fagioli), Bryan Trottier (Potato & Leek Soup) and Chef Michael Smith (PEI Seafood Chowder) in addition to other supporters will also be transformed into samples for tasting.

Advance tickets are now on sale at a cost of $10 (plus HST) for the one-day rate and $15 (plus HST) for a weekend pass. The ticket price includes 10 free soup tastings (one day rate; 20 free tastings are included in the weekend pass). Call 416 535 0240 or visit  to order your tickets now.

Prince Edward Island Seafood Chowder

Contributed to Soupalicious by Chef Michael Smith

On Prince Edward Island, we don’t worry whether our chowders are authentic or not. We know true seafood chowder is just a bowl full of simple, hearty local flavours. We often use canned clams and always stir in bacon, local fish, onions, potatoes and milk. We’re too busy asking for seconds to worry whether we got it right! If you like, this chowder can be made a day or two in advance and reheated. Its’ flavour actually gets better when it rests overnight!

Serves four to six, with seconds

Four slices of chopped bacon
One chopped onion
Two stalks of chopped celery
A generous splash of any white wine
One cup of heavy cream
One cup of milk
2 five ounce cans of clams
One large unpeeled baking potato
Two bay leaves
The chopped leaves from three or four sprigs of fresh thyme
One 357ml can of unsweetened evaporated milk or another 1 ½ cups of regular milk
12 ounces of lobster, mussels, white fish or any combination of other local fish
A sprinkle of two of salt and pepper
A handful of flat leaf parsley leaves

Toss the bacon into a thick-bottomed soup pout with a splash of water. By adding water to the raw bacon, you’re less likely to burn it as it gradually releases its fat and browns evenly. Stir over a medium-high heat until it crisps nicely. Pour off most of the fat. Add another splash of water to loosen the flavourful bits on the bottom then add the onions and celery. Sauté them for a few minutes until they soften and smell great.

Add the white wine, cream, milk, clams and clam juice. Coarsely grate the potato with a standard box grater and add it along with the bay leaves and thyme. Bring the mixture to a slow simmer, stirring frequently. Turn the heat down a notch or two and continue simmering until the grated potato softens, releasing the starches and thickening the chowder, about twenty minutes. Baking potatoes are the best choice for thickening the chowder because their high starch, low moisture flesh dissolves so easily.

Add the evaporated milk and continue stirring until it’s heated through. Taste the chowder and season it well with salt and pepper. Stir in the fish and continue stirring until it cooks through, about five minutes. Stir in the parsley and serve immediately.

French Mushroom Soup

Contributed by Mushrooms Canada and to be served by Hockey Legend and Toronto Maple Leafs goalie, Johnny Bower

Preparation Time: 10 mins. Cooking Time: 30 mins.

Subtle herbs compliment the rich mushroom flavour in this decadent soup. It makes a perfect starter to a luncheon or dinner party.
1/4 cup butter 50 mL
1 lb. fresh Mushrooms, thinly sliced 500 g
1/3 cup flour 75 mL
6 cups chicken broth 1.5 L
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves 2 mL
1 bay leaf 1
1/4 cup chopped green onions 50 mL
2 large egg yolks 2
1/2 cup whipping cream 125 mL
White pepper to taste
2 tbsp minced parsley 25 mL

In large heavy soup pot, melt butter over medium heat; sauté mushrooms for 5-6 minutes or until moisture from mushrooms has evaporated; sprinkle flour over mushrooms and cook 1 minute. Gradually stir in broth; bring to boil, stirring constantly. Add thyme, bay leaf and green onions; reduce heat and cover. Simmer 15- 20 minutes. Remove bay leaf. In small bowl whisk egg yolks with cream; stir 1cup (250 mL) hot broth into cream mixture and then return all to saucepan. Heat over low heat until hot about 5 minutes; add pepper to taste. Serve sprinkled with parsley.

Makes 8 servings

Note: If table cream is substituted and allowed to boil it will curdle.

Variation: Add ¼ cup (50 mL) medium sherry.

Nutritional Information:
Per Serving
Calories: 162
Sodium: 739 mg
Protein : 3.8 g
Fat: 12.6 g
Carbohydrates: 7.4 g
Dietary Fibre: 1.1 g


25g/1oz butter (if you want to make the soup vegan/ then substitute olive oil)
450g/1lb leeks, well cleaned and sliced
1 small onion, peeled and sliced
2 medium sized potatoes, peeled or unpeeled sliced
1 litre/4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock (for a vegan version)
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the butter/oil in a large saucepan and fry the vegetables until softened, 5 minutes or more. Add the stock and seasoning and bring to a boil and simmer covered for at least 30 minutes (you can go longer if that is more convenient) and potatoes are soft. Puree in a blender and sieve the soup into a second pot. Depending upon how thick the soup is at this point you can add water. The soup can be frozen, when it is thawed out you will need to stir vigorously to a smooth consistency.

You can serve garnished with chopped chives.

(You can make much larger quantities; all you need to do then is to some extend the cooking times for the vegetables. The most time consuming part of this recipe is the blender/sieving).



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