Sausage and bean soup

There hits a point sometime in mid-winter (read: right about now) when the only foods I want to eat can be boiled down to a category best described as carbs, soups, pasta, and more carbs. This is especially true this year – when we are somehow approaching the beginning of March when it seems we never properly finished the last one. 

All that to say, when I got up this morning and saw the snow piling up on my patio (again!), I just couldn’t bring myself to keep writing about knife parts and handle materials – I wanted something a little more tangible. 


A freestyle chowder

It is currently 34 degrees here in New York, the kind of clear, bright, bitingly cold sort of weather that inevitably results in streaming, red noses and dreams of blankets and books and steaming mugs of soup.

But not just any soup.

Walking to the grocery store, I became fixed on the idea of fish chowder – a rich, creamy, aromatic broth, studded with chunks of tender potato and flaky cod. I don’t know why. The only chowder I have ever eaten with any regularity is Taqueria Del Sol’s shrimp corn chowder, which, while delicious, isn’t the sippable soup I’m seeking.

I blame Sam Sifton for the idea. His charmingly conversational (and delightfully imprecise) speedy fish chowder has been floating around in my head – as much for its formatting as for the end result.

It spoke to me, this idea for a no-recipe recipe: just enough guidance to take out some of the fear and guesswork, leaving me the freedom to get creative and experiment without worrying about compromising the end result. Exactly the kind of soul-soothing comfort cooking I can get lost in – something that feels just as good as a warm blanket on a night like tonight.


Jessi Spell

A culinary degree and two years of professional experience has not stopped Jessi from making stupid mistakes – she just makes them more efficiently. She habitually reads cookbooks before bed, loses track of time on Wikipedia, and yells at cooking shows like dads watching football. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband Jackson, five plants, and more cookbooks than a 600 square foot studio should hold.


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