I’m not a big worshipper of the belief that only certain foods should be made in certain times of the year. Sure the colder months are the perfect “soup season,” but who says you can’t enjoy it in the summertime too? Not I. I follow my taste buds and throw those silly rules out the window … and followed them right to a big pot of chowder tonight.I actually bought the ingredients for the chowder a week ago, but tonight provided the perfect opportunity to make it. The movie Underdog opened tonight and Nicholas has been desperately awaiting its arrival, so the boys caught a movie (along with The Girlfriend and The Neighbor Husband), and since I knew they wouldn’t care for the soup, it was the ideal supper for me.
I know you’re going to find this as shocking as my recent mango revelation, but I’ve never made anything with leeks before. Barring that unchartered territory, the recipe is super simple to make and the perfect way to spend an evening, summer or not. Rich with the addition of chicken broth, and creamy, but not heavy, with the half-and-half, it’s packed with veggies and velvety smooth as it goes down. I tinkered with the recipe and love, love, love it. This is a definite keeper, no matter the season.
Mushroom and Potato Chowder
Originally a Taste of Home recipe, then modified by a CLBB member, and then me
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup diced leek (used 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup butter (used 3/4 of a stick)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups chicken stock
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 cup chopped celery (skipped)
1 cup diced peeled potatoes (used 1-1/4 cup and didn’t peel)
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 cup half-and-half cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (used Pecorino Romano)
In a large skillet, sauté onion and leeks in butter until tender. Add flour, salt, pepper and thyme; stir to make a smooth paste. Gradually add stock; stirring constantly. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute.
Add the mushrooms, celery, potatoes and carrots. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add cream and Parmesan cheese; heat through.
Makes 4-6 servings.
Notes: I also added 1/4 cup grated Colby Jack as a topping – what can I say? I’m on a cheese kick lately.