Cauliflower Chowder

chowder

Eating your vegetables doesn’t have to mean salads. This cauliflower chowder is a flavorful (onions! garlic! bacon!) way to include the underrated cauliflower in your meal planning. The addition of the green chile makes this a spicy dish, too.

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 slices bacon (cut into small bits), package of Trader Joe’s Uncured Apple Smoked bacon
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 oz. jar Hatch Green Chile
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. fresh minced Thyme (optional)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

DIRECTIONS

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add and cook bacon until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel; set aside.

Heat the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, carrots, thyme, celery and parsley. Stirring occasionally, cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in cauliflower, green chile, and bay leaf. Cook until tender, another 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in chicken broth, cooked bacon and milk. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 12-15 minutes, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add more milk until desired consistency is reached.

Homemade Chicken and Noodles

chicken-noodles

Easy to make and the egg noodles really make this dish – it’s like a healthier version of chicken and dumplings. If you can’t find frozen egg noodles, use dried noodles and cook before adding to the soup. Of course, if you can’t stand the heat, don’t use the green chile.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 whole cut up fryer chicken
  • 2 whole carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • ½ whole medium onion, diced (optional)
  • ¼ cup fresh green chile
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper (more to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground thyme
  • 2 teaspoons parsley flakes
  • 16 ounces frozen “homemade” egg noodles
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 

DIRECTIONS

Place chicken in a large pot and cover in 4 quarts water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove chicken from pot with a slotted spoon. With two forks, remove as much meat from the bones as you can, slightly shredding meat in the process. Return bones to broth and simmer on low, covered, for 45 minutes.

Remove bones from broth with a slotted spoon, making sure to get any small bones that might have detached. Add the carrots and celery (and onions, if using) to the pot, followed by the green chile, herbs, and spices. Stir to combine and simmer for ten minutes to meld flavors.

Increase heat and add frozen egg noodles and chicken. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes. In a separate bowl, mix flour and a little water. Stir until smooth. Pour into soup, stir to combine, and simmer for another 5 minutes or until broth thickens a bit.

Tomato Bisque Soup

tomato-bisque

Delicious and yummy on a cold weather day. This soup combines the ease of canned tomatoes with the bright flavors of fresh carrot and shallot, and the richness of cream. By roasting the vegetables first, even more flavor is developed as their sugars caramelize. 

INGREDIENTS

  • Two 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes, drained of their juices
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 shallots, quartered
  • Salt and freshly crackled black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • One 28-ounce crushed tomatoes
  • 1 to 2 cups chicken stock
  • ¼ cup heavy cream 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400º F degrees.

In a mixing bowl, combine the two cans of drained whole tomatoes, olive oil, light brown sugar, carrots and shallots, and toss to coat. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Place the vegetables on a silicone or parchment-lined baking sheet and roast until caramelized, about 30 minutes.

Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the butter and cook until foaming. Add the crushed red pepper and garlic. Sauté for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Then add the sherry. Cook until all the liquid has evaporated and the alcohol has cooked off, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the roasted vegetables, can of crushed tomatoes (with liquid) and 1 cup chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Add the heavy cream. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until uniform in texture. Add more chicken stock to adjust the consistency to taste.