Bologna to Bolognese: Adventures With Food

Food is necessary. Food is fun. Food is an adventure!

My name is Shannon and this is my adventure, my love affair with food.

I hope you'll come along for the ride.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Everything But The Kitchen Sink Chowder

A bit of the spring cleaning bug carried over into the kitchen this week when I looked in the refrigerator and saw odds and ends of various vegetables lurking in my crisper drawer. There wasn't enough of any one for a complete dish but there was nothing wrong with any of them either. So, waste not want not, I chopped everything up and chucked it into  the crock pot. Soups on!

In my house soup and meatloaf serve the same very important purpose. They give me a vehicle to use up all my leftovers. For this soup I intended for it to be a chowder but I only used one potato, and a sweet potato at that so it doesn't really have a chowder texture. The beauty of it though is, it will never be the same twice. So next time it may be mostly potato with some other veggies thrown in, who knows.

That said I've listed what I put in but feel free to alter it based on your preferences or more importantly, what's lurking in your veg drawer!

Everything But The Kitchen Sink Chowder

(12 servings)

1 small head of cabbage sliced thinly (like noodles)
2 sweet onions
4 cloves garlic crushed or diced
2 carrots sliced in rounds
4 parsnips sliced in rounds
the kernels from 4 ears of corn (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 jalapeno peppers without seeds (seeds left in would have been fine or more peppers)
1 head of cauliflower roughly chopped
1 sweet potato cubed 
1/2 carton of beef broth
1 carton vegetable broth
3 tbsp butter
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp Hungarian paprika
salt and pepper to taste
1tsp onion powder
2 tsp crushed bay leaves or 3-4 whole
1 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp celery seed
Heavy cream (not to be added until the end)


Chop it all up and combine, except the cream and butter. Cook on low in the slow cooker for up to 8 hours. This is a lot of soup so I freeze quite a bit of it. If you also plan to do so package the portions you intend to freeze before adding the cream. The cream tends to separate after freezing. For the portion you intend to eat promptly add the cream and and butter and serve.

If you want your broth a bit thicker you can blitz some in a food processor or blender (be careful when doing this with hot liquids), or use a potato masher to crush up some of the vegetables in your pot or you could add cornstarch (make sure to mix it into a cold liquid before adding it to the pot, broth or wine will do). I found it was very nice just as it was but I can see a number of things I will change next time. Celery is a must to add, a bit of white wine would probably have added a nice depth of flavor, and more carrots, and some potatoes would be nice. Overall this was a delightful dish and I almost can't wait for my veg drawer to be full of leftovers again so I can make some more! Short, simple, to the point and delicious, happy cooking.

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