Vegetable Chowder

Old people talk about weather, so I guess that makes me old.

When we were in Key West, the weather was pretty much perfect. Daytime highs near 80 and lows at night that dipped just below 70. You add to that the close proximity to water, and it seemed cooler by about 5 degrees both day and night, as long as you weren’t in direct sunlight. The day we left, the daytime temps climbed a bit and overnight lows were in the mid 70’s. I wouldn’t complain about that weather, but I was happier with the option of long-sleeves at night. It’s the Midwesterner in me, what can I say?

In addition to my intolerance for hunger (The Hangry appeared a time or two on vacation because Mark and I can never quite sync up perfectly when traveling on account of my need for SOMETHING in the mornings), I also learned that getting all cute to go out for dinner, followed by a long walk to dinner, usually resulted in me getting slightly sweaty – I don’t like it one bit.

I’m one of those people who has to drop into bed at night squeaky clean. I swear it’s a huge reason as to why I generally sleep so well and fall asleep so quickly. And if it happens to be one of the 2 nights a month my sheets are freshly laundered and the bed is actually made…yeah, that’s what dreams are made of!

So while Key West solidified for me the fact that my comfort zone for temperature is narrowing by the day, I’m also one that is always up for soup. We might have walked 30 minutes (me, in wedges) in warm weather to arrive all dewy to dinner…but regardless, I was still up for soup. In addition to hollandaise, creamed soups – mostly conch and clam – were staples at many restaurants there.

While there is no feature of seafood and quite honestly, this soup would just as well be vegetarian in my book (the ham doesn’t add a whole lot), this soup is creamy, rich, simple to make, full of vegetables, and really darn good. As we enter the period of time here in the Midwest that is Wild Card Weather (do you need shorts or a winter jacket today, because you’ll need the exact opposite within 12 hours), I’m not ever done with soup. And if you’re in the same boat – here you go. If you’re done with soup until soup weather rolls around again, bookmark this one. It’s worthy, for sure!

Vegetable Chowder

Vegetable Chowder

Yield: 12 cups (8 servings, 1 1/2 cups)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This soup is rich and creamy without being overly indulgent. Full of vegetables and tender ham, it's comforting and delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1 (20 oz) bag refrigerated diced potatoes
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets (about 3-4 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup grated or matchstick carrots
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 4 tsp (or 4 cubes) chicken bouillon
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper pepper
  • 1 cup cubed fully cooked ham
  • 1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. In a Dutch oven or pot, combine the potatoes, broccoli, onion, carrots, celery, bouillon, and water over medium-high heat. Simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, whisking often. Whisk in the milk, and pepper. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  3. Add milk mixture to vegetable mixture, along with the ham. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes or until heated through. Stir in cheese just until melted.

Notes

Recipe slightly adapted from Taste of Home

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 347Total Fat: 21.4gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 760mgCarbohydrates: 26.8gFiber: 3.4gSugar: 9.0gProtein: 14.3g

Interested in some simple soups to enjoy? Check’em out!

Be well,

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