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Monday, December 13, 2010

Vegetable Chowder

Walking from the car to our front door is becoming a challenge. The wind gusts slap our faces in the blackness of the 5:00 sky. Upon opening the door, our wet shoes are taken off, leaving clumps of snow scattered on the welcome mat. Gloves, hats, and jackets hang over the backs of chairs, leaving yet one more sign that winter is indeed here.

The Christmas tree looks beautiful, so once cozied inside, winter doesn't seem so bad. Even better, soups are always filling the house with smells of earthy roots and dried herbs. Tonight is no exception. Tonight is Vegetable Chowder Soup Night.

Here's our recipe, adapted slightly from Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison's Kitchen :

2 cups milk
3 Tbs. butter
5-6 cups of water
1 rutabaga *
2 cups carrots
3 blue potatoes*
1 large onion
8 cloves of garlic
1 turnip*
6 stalks of celery or one diced celeriac*
sprigs of dried thyme and parsley
salt and peppercorns

1. Bring milk, lovage, parsley, onion, garlic, whole peppercorns, and thyme to a slow boil. Remove from heat and cover while preparing the vegetables.

2. Chop vegetables into large and attractive pieces.
3. Heat butter over medium to medium-high heat in a large soup pot. Add vegetables and saute for roughly 5 minutes or until they are warm.

4. Stir in flour and water. Bring to a boil. Once at a boil, simmer, slightly covered for 15-20 minutes or  until vegetables are tender with a slight crunch.
5. Strain milk and add to a blender. Add 1-2 cups of vegetable mixture and puree until smooth.
6. Return pureed mixture to the remaining vegetables. Heat for another 5-10 minutes to incorporate flavors.
7. Serve warm over Parmesan toasts.

* Vegetables could be interchanged with other seasonal root vegetables.

For one cup servings: 132 cal; 4.3 g fat; 2 g sat. fat; chol 11 mg; sod 184 mg; carb 21.1; fiber 4.4 g; sugar 9.5 g; protein 3.7 g; Vit A 254% DV; Vit C 48% DV; Calcium 11% DV; Iron 4% DV

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