Saturday, July 12, 2014

Winter Vegetable Chowder

When you say chowder most people think of clam chowder or chicken corn chowder, as for me, I think of a really hearty vegetable chowder. My thyme-scented vegetable chowder boast a creamy finish thanks to a dose of heavy cream. Thick and rich and chocked full of winter root vegetables this is not your traditional vegetable soup.

Ingredients:

  • 6 MEDIUM LEEKS { 3 POUNDS }
  • 2 TABLESPOONS OLIVE OIL
  • 4 MEDIUM STALKS CELERY, CUT INTO 1/2-INCH PIECES
  • 3 MEDIUM PARSNIPS, PEELED AND CHOPPED
  • 2 MEDIUM RED POTATOES { 1 POUND }, CUT INTO 1/2-INCH PIECES
  • 2 CUPS { 1/2-INCH PIECES } BUTTERNUT SQUASH { FROM 2 POUNDS SQUASH }
  • 3 1/2 CUPS VEGETABLE STOCK 
  • 4 CUPS WATER
  • 1/2 TEASPOON CHOPPED FRESH THYME LEAVES PLUS THYME SPRIGS FOR GARNISH
  • 1 TEASPOON SALT
  • 3/4 TEASPOON GROUND BLACK PEPPER
  • 1 CUP HEAVY CREAM OR HALF-AND-HALF

Directions:

  1. Cut off the roots and trim the dark green tops from leeks { save the dark green tops for stock }. Discard any tough outer leaves. Cut lengthwise in half, rinse really well under cold running water and pat dry. Cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices.
  2. In a 6-quart saucepot, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add leeks, celery, and parsnips and cook, stirring occasionally, until all vegetables are tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Add potatoes, squash, stock, water, chopped thyme, salt and pepper; heat to boiling over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer about 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in heavy cream and heat through, about 3 minutes.
  4. Spoon into tureen and garnish with thyme sprigs.

NOTES: This chowder freezes especially well--enjoy one meal, then stash the leftovers for another day. I usually make a double batch and freeze half.

ACTIVE TIME: 15 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME: 50 MINUTES
MAKES: 8 MAIN-DISH SERVINGS