Thursday, January 21, 2010

week of soups -cheesy vegetable chowder

It is so wet and cold outside. This image below is not mine but looks exactly like what I got stuck in yesterday. I decided to be brave and head to Target to use a few coupons I had that expired today. It wasn't raining but I knew it would soon so I had to hurry. I wasn't fast enough though, when I left the rain was coming down in buckets. We got soaked. Nothing is worse than standing in a shower with your clothes on.

I have lost track of the number of consecutive days of rain here. The forecast is not giving any hope of it stopping. The rain is so good but oh so bad at the same time.

A lot of you have snow and ice and are just as cold. So for the week I thought we could all use a little warming up inside. I love soup for dinner and this is the time for soup. I'll do six days of soups.

For our first soup we have Cheesy Vegetable Chowder. This is a recipe from that I got from my sister. This is very creamy. The vegetables are so tender and the flavor blends them together very well. Plus it has cheese, can't beat that.
This is super quick and easy. There are a lot of vegetables to cut up and that takes the longest time. This soup (or any soup) is good served with Hot French Bread and butter.

Vegetable chowder
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion

1 cup diced carrots
1 cup cauliflower, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped broccoli
3 cups water
3 cubes chicken bouillon
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 cups shredded cheese

In large pot, SAUTE' first three ingredients until tender.

ADD next 8 ingredients. (Can add carrots for 5 minutes, then cauliflower for 5 then celery for 5 then broccoli for 5)
BRING to a boil. Reduce heat; SIMMER covered for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

COMBINE flour and milk until smooth in a small bowl; stir into pan.
BRING soup to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes.
MIX in the parsley. Stir in cheese just before serving.

**My notes**
Mr. E says "soup without meat is just an appetizer", so someimtes I added frozen diced ham that was left over from Christmas. I have also made this without broccoli once as I realized I was out of it, and if you happen to discover you are missing a vegetable and don't want to brave the cold to get it, it will still work without it. The good thing about this is the option to add or substitute any vegetable you like.
Diced potatoes? Sounds good too.

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