Cheese and vegetable chowder

This hearty cheese and vegetable chowder soup is wonderfully made in the middle of winter with fresh seasonal vegetables. Use a really well-flavored sharp Colby cheese.
SERVES 4
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped finely
  • 1 large leek, split lengthwise and sliced thinly
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups vegetable bouillon
  • 3 carrots, diced finely
  • 2 stalks celery, diced finely
  • 1 turnip, diced finely
  • 1 large potato, diced finely
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme, or 1/8 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 ½ cups light cream
  • 2¼cups grated sharp Colby cheese
  • fresh chopped parsley, to garnish
  • salt and pepper
Cheese and vegetable chowder
Method:
1. Melt the butter in a large, heavy pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, leek, and garlic. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the vegetables start to soften.
2. Stir the flour into the vegetables and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Add a little of the bouillon and stir well, scraping the bottom of the pan to mix in the flour. Bring to a boil, stirring, and slowly stir in the rest of the bouillon.
3. Add the carrots, celery, turnip, potato, thyme, and bay leaf. Reduce the heat.cover, and cook gently for about 35minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender. Remove the bay leaf and the thyme sprigs.
4.stir the light cream into the soup and simmer over very low heat for 5 minutes. Add the grated cheese a handful at a time, stirring constantly for1 minute after each addition, to make sure it is completely melted.
5. Taste the soup, adding salt if needed, and pepper to taste.
6.serve immediately in warm bowls, garnished with chopped fresh parsley.

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