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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Year of Soup Recipe Challenge Week 8- Basic Chowder

I'm trying to catch up on the Year of Soup Challenge here at Mimi's my count I am three weeks behind! I don't have any good excuses...just been really busy lately, getting ready for the WGHP appearance, working on other writing obligations, and testing recipes, so the time has gotten away from me!

Now it's time to get back on track...even though I know it's entirely possible that nobody but me has noticed, and more than likely that nobody but me cares (you are out there reading this aren't you? anyone?). Still, a promise is a promise, even if you only make it to yourself, and I'm OCD enough to feel driven to get caught up.

Today's recipe is adapted from one that I found in Better Homes and Gardens magazine a few years ago, and it's really great! It's a basic chowder that comes together in 30 minutes, and that you can change up with just a few additional ingredients to make several variations. If you like chowder as much as I do, then this versatile recipe is for you!

Basic Chowder

3 tbsp. butter
2 stalks celery, sliced thin
1/4 cup diced onion
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 (14-oz.) can chicken broth
2 cups refrigerated diced potatoes with onions such as Simply Potatoes (half a 1-lb., 4 oz. package)
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup half and half
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled (optional)
salt and ground black pepper to taste

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; saute celery and onion until tender, about 5 minutes. Whisk in flour until combined. Gradually whisk in broth; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add potatoes and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Slightly mash some of the potatoes. Add bacon and half and half. Simmer until heated through. At this point you would add your variation ingredients and continue simmering until heated through.

Chicken Corn Chowder- Add 1 cup frozen corn and 1 cup chopped, cooked chicken.
Chicken Primavera Chowder- Add 1 cup frozen peas and carrots, and 1 cup chopped, cooked chicken.
Crab and Basil Chowder- Add 12 oz. lump crab meat (drained, flaked and cartilege removed), and 2 tsp. dried basil, crushed.
Ham and Corn Chowder- Add 1 cup frozen corn, and 1 cup chopped, cooked ham.
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"In the childhood memories of every good cook, there's a large kitchen, a warm stove, a simmering pot and a mom."

- Barbara Costikyan


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