Vegetable and Herb Chowder

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons butter [I used real butter.  I also used more butter than the recipe called for, this maybe the one time I ever say this but this recipe gains NOTHING from adding more butter.  The butter is merely to saute the vegetables at the beginning.  Do not over butter this recipe or the final broth will be too oily.]
1 Onion, minced [I used a medium-sized onion.]
1 Leek, finely sliced [I used all of the white and maybe an inch of the green.  I know many websites and cooks will toss all of the green out but I find it adds more flavor to the soups.]
1 Celery stock, diced [I am having a love hate relationship with celery.  I used five stocks in this soup.  I thought it needed more celery.]
1 yellow or green bell pepper, seeded and diced [I used the yellow bell pepper here but I think this would be the perfect spot to give this soup more color – using red, orange, yellow and green peppers here to make this soup brighter – but the finished product is very pretty and bright.]
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley [Use the fresh parsley, it makes a HUGE difference]
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/4 quart vegetable stock [I used an organic stock.  I felt since I was making a homemade soup I didn’t want ay preservatives ro additives to mess with the composition.  Also I only used one quart of stock]
2 1/2 cups diced potatoes [I used mini potatoes.  many stocks have the mesh bags of them, I used the mixed colored one giving the soup some brightness]
a few sprigs of fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme [I used dried thyme]
1 Bay Leaf
1 Cup young green beans, thinly sliced [I used french cut beans from a can, figured it was following the directions and not frustrating me by having to cut all those beans]
1/2 milk [I am highly lactose intolerant, so I only drink Lactaid or other lactose free milks.  I used Lactaid in this recipe and I believe it actually benefitted from it; it was slightly sweeter and I feel more tasty]
salt and pepper to taste [I did not have to add any salt or pepper to this]

Serves 4 [the recipe as I made it created a SMIDGE over SIX measured cups]

1. Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan or flameproof casserole.  Add the onion, leek, celery, bell pepper, and parsley.  Cover and cook slowly over low heat until the vegetables are soft. [I worried about not using enough butter due to the vast quantity of vegetables in the pot.  I was wrong.  I should have simply left it at the directed amount.  The end product had slightly more ‘oil’ due to the extra butter then I wanted.]

2.  Add the flour and stir until well blended.  Slowly add the stock, stirring to combine.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.

3.  Add the potatoes, thyme, and bay leaf.  Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about ten minutes. [I used the mini potatoes of various colors to give the soup a little more color.  Definitely uncover the soup at this point because it needs to simmer slowly to properly soften the potatoes WITHOUT steaming out all of your vegetable stock.]

4.  Add the beans and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes longer until all the vegetables are tender. [Using the canned beans in this step meant I only had to watch the potatoes for their softened state.]

5.  Stir in the milk. Season with salt and pepper and heat through.  Before serving, discard the thyme stalks and bay leaf.  Serve hot. [I used the Lactaid milk, make sure your soup is NOT at a rolling boil when you add the milk or you will curdle it.  I felt it just simply added something.  I did not put any salt and pepper in this soup at all.  Since I used dried thyme I did not have to remove it, but I did remove the bay leaf.]

I served this with some oven baked chicken and homemade corn bread.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. kat says:

    YUM chowder! This recipe looks pretty healthy and relatively easy! Thanks for sharing! I’m new to blogging and love that there is a foodie community! If you have time, please check out my blog: http://shecooksandheeats.wordpress.com/. And of course! Any advice would be great 🙂

  2. H.Houston says:

    My mother liked this recipe as well – she however added some cured grilled ham to it to satisfy the meat eating men she lives with… they all liked the soup as is before the addition as well as after.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s