Monday, October 16, 2006

Broccoli Chowder

I am in a soupy mood this week so I will be making a couple of different soups. Tonight's was Broccoli Chowder, from Eating Well magazine, but was posted by someone on the CLBB. All the ladies on the CL boards suggested replacing the broccoli with cauliflower. I opted to use half broccoli, half cauliflower. My other changes included using veggie bouillon instead of canned broth, and omitting the dry mustard because I did not have any.

It was good but nothing special. I had hoped for more of a creamy chowder, as the name implied, but it was more of just a basic broccoli-cheese soup. I enjoyed it, but probably would not make it again.

Broccoli Chowder
Broccoli-Cheddar soup is a classic winter warmer; this hearty version may not win prizes for its beauty but will get a blue ribbon for taste every time. The broccoli stems are added before the florets so every bite is tender.

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion -- chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1 large carrot -- diced (1/2 cup)
2 stalks celery -- diced (1/2 cup)
1 large potato -- peeled and diced (1 1/2 cups)
2 cloves garlic -- minced
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth (two 14-ounce cans)
1/2 pound broccoli crowns -- cut into 1-inch pieces, stems and florets separated
1 cup grated reduced fat cheddar cheese
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/8 teaspoon salt -- or to taste

Heat oil in a dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and celery; cook, stirring often, until onion and celery soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Add potato and garlic; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in flour, dry mustard and cayenne; cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add broth and broccoli stems, bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Stir in florets; simmer, covered, until broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes more.

Transfer 2 cups of the chowder to a bowl and mash; return to the pan. Stir in cheddar and sour cream; cook over medium heat, stirring, until the cheese is melted and the chowder is heated through. Season with salt.

Yield: 6 servings

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