Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Creamy Vegetable Chowder

Creamy Vegetable Chowder

This soup is very similar to the Santa Fe Chowder that I posted in the past.  Both soups are from the same Moosewood cookbook, are loaded with vegetables, use Neufchatel cheese to add creaminess, and use pureed vegetables to add thickness.  The difference is this chowder is less spicy, and has a different variety of vegetables.  While I usually prefer the Santa Fe Chowder because I like spiciness, I also really like this one!

Creamy Vegetable Chowder

This vegetable chowder is definitely a great way to eat a lot of vegetables.  You can't tell from the pictures how many there are because the vegetables kept sinking to the bottom of the bowl!   This soup tastes thick and creamy, but isn't loaded with cheese or cream like a lot of chowders are.  It uses lowfat milk and a small amount  of cheese that really goes a long way!  I like having this as a main dish with crusty bread.  You could also have a smaller serving as a side dish.  Either way, it's a great way to warm up on a cold day.

Creamy Vegetable Chowder

Creamy Vegetable Chowder

Serves: 4 as a main dish

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 small/medium onions, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 cup peeled and diced carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups diced russet potatoes (peel, or scrub clean)
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon Italian herb seasoning (or mix or oregano, thyme, marjoram, etc.)
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt + more as desired (this will depend on how much sodium is in the vegetable broth and your personal preference!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 small/medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced and quartered
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/2 cup frozen green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 cups milk (lowfat is fine)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 ounces Neufchatel cheese (or cream cheese)
  • crushed red pepper flakes, optional


1) Heat olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat.  Once hot, add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.  Add celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft.

2)  Add carrots, potatoes, broth, and all seasonings.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the carrots and potatoes are just tender, about 5 minutes.  Remove bay leaf.

3)  Remove 2 cups of vegetables with a slotted spoon and put in a blender.  Set aside for now.

4)  Add bell pepper and zucchini to pot and simmer, until tender, about 4 minutes.  Add in green beans and peas and return the mixture to a simmer.

5)  Puree the vegetables that were set aside in the blender with the milk, cheddar cheese, and Neufchatel cheese until smooth.  Stir into the sauce.  Taste and adjust seasonings and/or add some red pepper flakes if desired.

(recipe adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special Recipes)

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