28 January 2011

Potato Chowder

Yesterday I made potato chowder from a Whole Foods recipe, but I adapted it to make it heartier and use a few ingredients I had sitting in the fridge. So, I wanted to share the original recipe and my adaptations because I think it's a really great base for a soup and a tasty winter meal. Plus, it can generally be made without a trip to the grocery store as everything in it can probably be found in your cabinets!

1/2 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 carrot, sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 1/4 cups water
2 large potatoes, cubed
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice

Place onion, celery, green pepper, carrot and garlic in a soup pot with 1/4 cup of water. Saute for 5 minutes, until vegetables are crisp-tender. Add potatoes, soy sauce, basil, paprika, pepper and remaining water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook over medium-low heat for 30 minutes. Add tomatoes, cover and cook an additional 15 minutes. Serves 4.

So that is the regular recipe, but as I said, I made a few changes. First, I wanted to add protein so I threw in some lentils and cannellini beans because I like to have two types of bean or protein when I can. I also had an open box of chicken broth in the fridge from a previous recipe, so I substituted most of the water in this recipe for broth, which I think gives it a richer flavor. I also ended up adding a container of my frozen, homemade vegetable stock because I ended up having quite the hearty soup by the time I was done! My mother, who is visiting this week, brought with her a bunch of greens that needed to be used so I threw in an entire bunch of swiss chard and some baby bok choy. By the time I was done, I had a huge pot that we were able to feast on for dinner and lunch today.

This soup has endless possibilities! I would definitely suggest adding some greens to it, even if you don't add any protein. Spinach is always good in soup, but I also like to add kale because it really can be a versatile vegetable if you know what to do with it! Hope you enjoyed this!

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