Cheesy Vegetable Chowder

It’s a gray and rainy day here today. Perfect soup weather. Of course I’m not making soup today. I’m having chicken cordon bleu, green bean casserole, brussell sprouts, and scalloped potatoes tonight. This Cheesy Vegetable Chowder does sound incredible though. And it tastes divine.

I’m going to give you two different versions of this soup.  Honestly, I’m doing it this way because I can never remember which recipe I’ve used and they’re both so similar. One calls for heavy cream and the other doesn’t, so maybe it will come down to what ingredients you have on hand.

This is a fantastic winter soup.  You could eat it in the summer as well if you wanted but I always look at fall and winter, and possibly a cold day in spring, as soup weather. I like to pair it with some good crusty bread and dip the bread, lathered with butter, into the soup.  That’s why I have a fat ass.  Here goes…

Cheesy Vegetable Chowder, aka Broccoli Cheese Potato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 5 1/2 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 1/3 cups chopped carrots (about 3)
  • 1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 small)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 1/2 cups peeled and cubed russet potatoes, cut 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch thick (2 large)
  • 3 cups chopped broccoli florets (from about 2 heads)
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk (preferably 1% or 2%)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (8 oz)
  • 1/3 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese (1 oz)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, melt 1 1/2 Tbsp of the butter.
  2. Add carrots, celery and onion and saute 3 – 4 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds longer.
  4. Stir in chicken broth, potatoes and thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium, cover with lid and cook 15 minutes.
  5. Stir in broccoli and cook 5 minutes longer or until veggies are tender.
  6. Meanwhile, melt remaining 4 Tbsp butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  7. Stir in flour and cook, whisking constantly 1 minute.
  8. While whisking vigorously, slowly pour in milk (whisk well until no lumps remain).
  9. Cook, stirring constantly until mixture begins to gently boil and thicken, stir in heavy cream.
  10. Remove from heat and once all veggies are tender pour into the soup and stir.
  11. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar and parmesan cheese until melted. Serve warm.

 

Here is the second version…

Cheesy Vegetable Chowder

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 large baking potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli
  • 2 heaping cups shredded cheddar cheese
 Directions:
1.  Melt the butter in a large soup pot.
2.  Add onions, carrots, and celery and saute over medium heat until tender.
3.  Add garlic and cook 1 or 2 additional minutes.
4.  Add chicken broth and potatoes, bring to a boil, and cook until potatoes are tender.
5.  Mix flour with water, add, and simmer until soup is slightly thickened.
6.  Add milk and broccoli and cook until broccoli is just tender and soup is heated through.
7.  Stir in cheese, allow to melt, and serve.
Chef’s Notes:  If I had to guess I would say I used the second version simply because there aren’t as many steps!  Don’t be afraid to add extra vegetables!  If you like zucchini or squash, eggplant, mushrooms, cauliflower, whatever, throw that in there! Also, while I throw this in the crockpot, I only do so after I’ve already cooked it according to the above directions.
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