Chowder is a type of creamy and rich soup usually with chunks of ingredients. It was originally said to be thickened using crackers but I've not really seen a recipe that does that. The most original of chowders is probably the clam chowder - the historical background and the step-by-step guide recipe can be found on Serious Eats (I'm bookmarking the recipe to try one day!)
The chowder has evolved into many versions and the version that I'm sharing today is the vegetable version. I used to dislike chowders because of the strong milky taste but this version is quite light as it uses stock instead of milk as the soup base, and I can finish one big bowl by myself!
This wholesome and hearty soup contains soft and almost melt-in-the-mouth potatoes and carrots, chewy mushrooms and crunchy corn - a tasty medley of textures. There is also no complicated steps involved, just a little sautéing, then it's basically a dump-everything-together one-pot dish.
Here's how to make it!
|1) Sauté onion in butter until translucent and soft.||2) Add in flour and mix into a paste.|
|3) Gradually stir in the stock.||4) Add in the vegetables and simmer till cooked.|
|5) Add in corn.||6) Followed by cream.|
|7) And freshly grated Parmesan cheese.||8) Stir well and voilà! Time to eat!|
- 2½ tablespoons butter (20 grams)
- 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
- 2 medium starchy potatoes, peeled and diced (I used Russet)
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 200 grams mushrooms, sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup corn kernels (about 200 to 250 grams)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Melt butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add in the diced onion and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes until onion is soft and translucent, stirring frequently.
- Turn the heat down to low and add in the flour, stirring constantly for 2 to 3 minutes to form a paste and to cook off the floury taste. Add in the vegetable stock gradually, stirring all the time to prevent lumps from forming.
- Once all the stock has been added, turn up the heat and add in potatoes, carrot, mushrooms and bay leaves. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and simmer for 30 minutes until the vegetables are cooked, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the bay leaves and add in corn, cream and Parmesan. Bring to a simmer, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve (if only I have some crusty bread!)
- I didn't use store-bought vegetable stock. Nowadays when I make my Potato-Carrot Mash, I will reserve the water used to boil the potatoes and carrots and use it in other soups (this was actually what I did for my Prawn Bisque). I find store-bought stocks tend to be too salty, so I will recommend using ½ stock and ½ water. The vegetables you have added in will release plenty of delicious sweet flavours into the soup, so don't worry about the soup tasting bland.
- You can use chicken stock instead of vegetable stock if you prefer.