By Nathan Payne
We can all appreciate those memorable moments throughout the year when we are delighted with the arrival of local produce, recently picked, full of flavour and ready to be eaten. Depending on your growing seasons and access to healthy and locally grown food, you may have already adjusted your meals to reflect the season.
Preserving is a traditional and tested practice of selecting, harvesting, preparing, processing and storing food that is an effective approach to supplementing our food plan. Seasoned tomatoes, beets, corn, pickles, beans and tender fruit (e.g., peaches, pears, etc.), as well as jams, jellies and marmalades are a few examples of foods that can be incorporated to boost the flavour and nutritional profile of our meals.
Simple Canadian Seafood and Tomato Soup
By Chef Matthew Kennedy
½ pound PEI mussels – cleaned
4 East Coast scallops – remove abductor muscle (small muscle attached to flesh) and cut in half
2 4 oz. pieces white fish (examples; BC ling cod, BC halibut, East Coast haddock)
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion – slivered
2 garlic cloves – finely chopped
1 stalk celery - diced
½ cup dry white wine
½ pound fingerling potatoes – small sizes or cut in half/coins
6 preserved tomatoes (whole canned tomatoes either home-made or store bought, reserve juice)
2 cups cold filtered water
1 fresh bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh parsley – roughly chopped
Salt and black pepper to taste
•In a large stainless steel sauce pan cook onions, garlic and celery with olive oil over medium heat until sweet and translucent. Add white wine and simmer until reduced by half of original volume.
•Add fingerling potatoes, bay leaf, tomatoes and reserved tomato juice and simmer until liquid is reduced by half. Add cold water and simmer until potatoes are tender. (If potatoes are not completely covered, add enough water to accomplish this). Season the broth with salt and pepper to taste.
•Add mussels, white fish, and scallops and return to a high simmer and cover for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and ensure all mussels have opened up, covering for another minute or 2 if they haven’t, and adjust seasoning.
•Serve in warmed bowls with a big piece of your favourite crusty bread, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a light sprinkling of chilli flakes.
>Matthew KennedyAfter graduating with honours from the New England Culinary Institute, Matt Kennedy moved to France to work in the some of the finest restaurants in Paris, Chambery and Val D’Isere. There he learned and cultivated a true appreciation for local, seasonal cuisine in a sustainable environment, best explained by the French term “Terroir”. Upon his return to Toronto, Matt joined the team at North 44 restaurant and participated in the hit reality Food Network show, Heat with Mark McEwan. Matt is currently the Chef/Owner of a boutique catering company called Kennedy Catering.