October 3, 2012

Vegetable Cheese Chowder

Ugh. Yesterday just plain sucked. Yeah, I know, that isn't the most pleasant terminology, but it REALLY did!! We woke up at 5:45 to take Stephen to work so I could have the car. Got lost on the way back, so I barely had time to drive the boys to school. (no walk) Then I had a busy morning, (no more exercise) went to run errands, and thought it would be fun to go out to lunch with Joe! The first place I looked up turned out to be a bar... then I spent an hour looking for the other place... drove away from it, then passed it twice... Luckily, it was very good. I even ordered a delicious salad! Feeling all healthy! Until it arrived... with a side of fries!! Who does that?! And of course, they were scrumptious... so I ate them all, and brought the salad home. So much for good intentions. Then had to go get Stephen (little) but it was HOT!! So I drove. No walk. Multiple downtown driving disasters later, we were on our way home, I was sniffling, hot, bloated, cranky, tired, and feeling really, really stupid. Just one of those days. 

Today is better! We walked to school (yay!) gave Bracken a run around in a field, and now I'm going to get to work on this apartment! Time to tidy! And time to share one of my favorite childhood foods. 

What else, besides pumpkin, does fall just beg for?? Soups!! Nothing quite like a hot, homey soup on a chilly day. I looooove soup. Sometimes I think I could eat nothing but soup for about a month! It's also a great way to indulge my borderline-vegetarian-ness. This was one of my favoritest comfort foods growing up. We didn't have it often, but when we did, I would try to claim ALL the leftovers!

Vegetable Cheese Chowder (adapted from Christmas Recipe from the Lion House)
Printable Recipe

4 cups cubed red potatoes (peels on or off, I leave them on)
2 cups diced carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1/2-1 cup minced onion
5-6 cups chicken broth
10 oz frozen broccoli (or 2 crowns fresh)
3 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp dry mustard
1 lb (16 oz) processed cheese (Velveeta)

Place all veggies except broccoli in large pot with the broth and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, then lower to medium-low to simmer for 20 minutes. Add broccoli and milk, raise heat to BARELY medium.

In separate pan, melt butter, and add flour. Stir over medium-high heat until it darkens and smells toasty. Slowly add this (roux) to the soup, whisking LOTS while you drizzle it in. Stir for a few minutes while it thickens. Do not raise the heat, do not let it boil!! Patience is important, otherwise your soup will turn grainy.

Once the soup has thickened a bit, cut the cheese into cubes and add it to the soup. Stir until cheese has melted. Serve warm. (When you reheat leftovers, again, no boiling!!)
Like the chipped bowl? :) It's the only bowl left from the dish set we registered for when we got married! Two people gave us the whole set, and we kept both! So out of 8 bowls... this is the only one left. Still have most of the plates though...
Anyway! Food! Soup, to be specific. I am NOT a fan of Velveeta, but I adore this soup! It's smooth, creamy, perfectly thickened, and the veggies get soft and tender... it doesn't taste just like Velveeta, just like mild cheddar fabulousness!
Vegetarians, rejoice!! Vegans, not so much, but still; it's a great way to get your veggies. :)

Quick question for everyone: I've been replying to comments through email. Are you getting my replies??


  1. I almost never have "processed cheese" on hand, so I was wondering if you've ever tried the recipe with regular cheese (shredded, not pre-shredded). Does it taste the same? Would I just need to leave the soup on the heat for a few minutes so make sure the cheese actually melted? Or would it completely change the composition?

    1. You could certainly try! Low heat helps lots :) Or perhaps a mix of cheddar and jack, that's what I use for my mac & cheese, and as long as I don't get the heat too high, it stays smooth

  2. The problem with using regular cheese is that it is very difficult to get it not to separate, or curdle, or go grainy, or turn to glue, or rubber bands. And you can forget trying to reheat it. With Velveeta, it's foolproof.

  3. Mmmm, this looks amazing! And I was just going to call my mom yesterday for HER cheesy veggie soup! Never got around to it, so I think I'll give yours a try!
    As for replies- I don't know if you're ever responded to me, but if so I haven't gotten any emails. I don't think I have it set up though...


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