Old-Fashioned Winter Vegetable Chowder

Thursday, January 3, 2013 0 comments

Old-Fashioned Winter Vegetable Chowder

This wonderful winter vegetable chowder recipe is rich, filling and great for a winter supper. This winter vegetable chowder is full of potatoes, rutabaga and carrot, but other vegetables could be added, such as sauteed mushrooms or fennel, chopped tomatoes or cubes of roasted winter squash. This recipe makes more Cream Sauce without the Cream than you’ll need for the chowder. Refrigerate or freeze the extra sauce and use it in place of heavy cream in any sauce or soup that calls for cream.


Cream Sauce without the Cream

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2/3 cup long- or medium-grain white rice
  • 5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, preferably white


  • 2/3 cup diced bacon or pancetta (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups diced peeled Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 2 cups diced peeled rutabaga
  • 1 1/2 cups Cream Sauce without the Cream
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack, Cheddar or Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or scallion greens


  1. To prepare cream sauce: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 cup finely chopped onion and cook, stirring, until soft but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more. Add 5 cups broth and wine and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the rice is very soft and the liquid is greatly reduced, about 25 minutes. Cool slightly.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree, in batches if necessary, until smooth. (Alternatively, puree in the pot with an immersion blender.) The consistency should be similar to a pourable sauce; add more broth or water as needed. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper, preferably white pepper.
  3. To prepare soup: Heat a heavy soup pot over medium heat and add bacon (or pancetta); cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate; pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat in the pot.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon oil, 2 medium chopped onions, carrot, celery, garlic and fennel seed. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and just beginning to color, about 5 minutes. Add dry mustard and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Add 4 cups broth, potatoes and rutabaga and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the vegetables are tender but still hold their shape, 15 to 20 minutes. Mash a few of the vegetables against the side of the pot with the back of a spoon and cook for 2 minutes more to slightly thicken the soup.
  6. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the Cream Sauce and heat until steaming but not boiling. Remove from heat; add cheese and stir until melted. Season with pepper. Serve topped with chives (or scallion greens) and the reserved bacon (or pancetta).

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate cream sauce (Steps 1 & 2) for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator or using the defrost setting on your microwave. Prepare soup through Step 5 and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat before proceeding with Step 6.


Per serving: 255 calories; 12 g fat ( 5 g sat , 5 g mono ); 24 mg cholesterol; 25 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 12 g protein; 3 g fiber; 783 mg sodium; 682 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (41% daily value), Vitamin C (35% dv), Potassium (20% dv), Calcium (19% dv)
Carbohydrate Servings: 1 1/2
Exchanges: 1 starch, 2 vegetable, 1 high-fat meat, 1 fat


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