Monday, March 11, 2013

A food post - Cheesy Vegetable and Corn Chowder

A family favorite and a short break from the flower show.  I will have more photos from there in my next post.

Last Wednesday we had a heavier than normal snowfall, more than any this winter so far.  Still not as bad as some of our friends further north but as I saw those big flakes falling and heard the wind whistling outside, I decided to make soup.  After asking Gregg which one would he like me to make, he opted for his favorite, Cheesy Vegetable Chowder.  Fortunately I had all the ingredients and made up a batch for lunch that day.

Cheesy Vegetable and Corn Chowder
Yields: 10 cups
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Preparation time: 15 minutes

3-1/2 cups chicken broth
8 celery ribs, sliced
4 carrots, sliced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups frozen whole kernel corn (I always use 2 cans creamed style)
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 or 2 tablespoons French's mustard
Season to taste
Garnish: chopped fresh parsley

Bring first 6 ingredients to a boil in a Dutch oven.  Cover and reduce heat.  Simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Remove from heat and stir in corn.

Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat.  Add flour, whisking until smooth.  Cook 1 minute, whisking constantly.  Gradually whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, whisking continuously until mixture is thickened and bubbly.  Add cheese, stirring until blended.  Add the mustard and stir until blended.

Stir cheese mixture gradually into vegetable mixture.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thoroughly heated.

Serve immediately.  Garnish if desired.

This is a wonderful recipe that I have been making for years.  It came out of one of my Southern Living annual cook books.  You can lighten it up by using lower fat ingredients if you wish.  I always use two percent low-fat milk and it tastes rich and creamy, though I do opt for a favorite, Dubliner cheddar cheese, but any cheddar will do.  I sometimes make a double batch so that we can enjoy it for a few days and it only gets better.  I also add more potatoes, carrots, celery and onions.  I top it with a good dash of black ground pepper.  Enjoy it with a nice crusty bread or eat it on its own, delicious either way.  Especially good when the snow is on the ground and the wind is howling outside.