Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Potato & Veggie Chowder

Today, I feel like the comeback kid. I am finally feeling back to almost normal! Not that I would go and run a 5k because I'm not really allowed to according to doctor's orders; but, I had A LOT more energy today. Watch out world, I had my sassy pants on today. No literally. I was able to wear regular pants today for the first time in the two weeks since my little surgery. If you are new to my humble blog you can also read more about it in my Baby Steps chronicle. Also literally speaking, they were sassy because they are my favorite new red pants from Old Navy. Why yes, these are the red skinny ankle pant if you ask. So sassy, so pants, so feeling almost myself.

While my dinner is not so sassy, I am pretty proud of this little gem. I am proud because I made it up myself. My inspiration is dedicated to all of those fabulous Episcopalian, Iowa soup suppers I attended as a kid. Actually, it doesn't really matter what domination you are in Iowa because every good ol' small town church has a heart warming soup supper in the cold winter months for everyone to congregate together. There is always the baked potato bar (which can happen anytime of year), chili dinners, bake sales, potlucks for some great cause, pancake breakfasts (accompanied by awesome egg casserole bakes), and salad lunches in the spring. Please don't forget a sheet cake of some kind and numerous jello or "fluff" desserts normally always were provided, but you had to "clean your plate" before you got any of the glory. It never mattered where I lived. We were always coming together to enjoy the food for some great cause. This soup reminds me of those countless dinners...only WAY healthier of course;)

Potato & Veggie Chowder

1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
1 lb. russet potatoes, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 yellow or white onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1/4 cup carrot, finely chopped
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
1 cup thawed frozen chopped broccoli
1 cup thawed frozen cauliflower
4 cups 2% milk
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 cups shredded 2% cheddar cheese
1 cup cubed 2% Velveeta cheese
Salt & pepper to taste

Heat a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil and onion. Sautee for 3-4 minutes or until the onion begins to turn translucent in color. Add the garlic, carrot, and celery. Cook for another 4-5 minutes or until the vegetables are softened. Meanwhile, place the potatoes and chicken broth in a large microwavable bowl. Microwave on high for 5 minutes to cook the potatoes while you are cooking your vegetables. After the first five minutes, prick one of the potatoes with a fork. If the potato breaks apart or sort of crumbles. If not, microwave for another 5 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Add the potatoes and broth to the vegetable mixture. Add the broccoli and cauliflower and bring to a simmer. In a bowl, whisk together 1 cup of the milk and corn starch. Add the corn starch mixture and the remaining 3 cups milk to the pot. Add the cheeses and stir constantly until the cheese melts and the soup thickens. Remove from the heat and serve.


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