Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Vegetable Chowder

Another day, another Moosewood recipe. I made this one for my friend Amy since she asked if I would cook for her while she was in town (based on her love for this blog! <3!) She ended up getting in to town a bit late, so she and her boyfriend had it the next day. I had it both times and it is great fresh and reheated the next day. Now that’s a good recipe!

I love soup, especially when it’s cold. Soup is one of those things that everyone has some sort of theory and idea about. For example, I love my soups full of chunky vegetables. This recipe had all the veggies minced or otherwise cut pretty small, which is not what I’m into. If I’m going to cook with broccoli (my fave veg), I want to see it and taste it. So everywhere it says diced below, you can assume I used a rougher, larger chop, except the garlic. Aaron, when it comes to chowder, likes it super thick. Although this one isn’t very thick, it could easily become Aaron’s ideal chowder. This one is also super easy to mess around with. I took out a bunch of ingredients and subbed in more broccoli. Did I mention I love soup?

Vegetable Chowder from The New Moosewood Cookbook:

Yield: 8 servings

1 Tb. butter
2 c. chopped onion
6 cloves garlic, minced (yup, I used 8. No surprise, right?)
2 tsp. salt (kosher)
½ tsp. thyme
2 tsp. basil
1 medium potato, diced (I used several smaller potatoes)
2 medium stalks celery, diced
2 medium carrots, diced (I only had one. Oops!)
2 c. chopped broccoli
2 c. chopped cauliflower (I took out the cauliflower and used about 5 c. chopped broccoli)
½ lb. mushrooms, chopped (I took this out altogether)
2 c. corn (frozen-defrosted fine)
Lots of fresh black pepper
1½ c. water (I used veggie stock instead)
1 quart milk (lowfat ok), heated

Melt the butter in a kettle or Dutch oven. Add onion, half the garlic, salt, thyme, and basil. Sauté over medium heat 5 minutes. Add potato, celery, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower. Sauté another 5 to 8 minutes. Add mushrooms and corn, plus lots of black pepper. Sauté another 8 to 10 minutes.

Add water (or stock), cover, and simmer about 15 minutes, or until everything is tender. (Make sure potatoes are done.) This should be enough time.

Stir in hot milk and remaining garlic. Remove from heat until 10 minutes before serving time, then heat gently.

I served this the first night with pieces of no-knead bread. The second night I took the same bread, turned it into croutons, and served it in the soup with some shredded parmesan reggiano and pecorino romano cheese. My favorite new trick with these types of cheese is to use my zester to shred just a bit of cheese on top without having to bust out my shredder. I did overdo it on the pepper a bit, but otherwise, this soup was very tasty and everyone liked it. Yay!

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