by Kimberley Doerksen
The weather in Vancouver may be warming up a touch but it’s still winter soup season. Typically, I opt for broth-based soups over cream-based soups because I find that eating chowders can seem like eating a big bowl of warm cream which is a little too decadent for my liking. However, you can still get a great creamy soup through pureeing butternut squash, roasted cauliflower or any form of root vegetable which is usually my go-to.
Contrary to my usual preferences, I found myself making a cream-based soup this weekend for Sunday night’s dinner. Instead of heavy cream, I used milk and there was a bit of light cream cheese to make it a little richer. The recipe came from another one of my favourite blogs: Nerds with Knives. They create easy recipes that taste like you’ve spend hours slaving over a hot stove for the result. I made their Creamy Chicken and Potato Chowder (with turkey), and it was amazing. Filled to the brim of deliciousness, it was certainly a crowd-pleaser. We accompanied the soup with buttermilk cheddar biscuits and salad. It was a perfect meal for a cold, rainy Sunday night.
Creamy chicken and potato chowder
Prep time: 15 mins. Cook time: 35 minutes. Total time: 50 minutes. Serves: 6-8.
2 tablespoons (30 g) unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 stalk celery, diced
coarse kosher salt (1/2 tsp to start) and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped if large (about 3 sprigs or ½ teaspoon dried)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups low or no sodium chicken broth
2 cups milk
1 pound red potatoes (about 4 medium), cut into ½ inch cubes (450g
4 ounces cream cheese (115 g)
3 cups (about 1lb.) cooked chicken or turkey, shredded
1 small bunch (about 2 cups) chard leaves, stems discarded, chopped
1 cup (5 oz) fresh or frozen corn (no need to defrost)
Preheat a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Melt butter and add onion, carrots and celery. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and onions are translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and thyme leaves and cook for another minute.
Stir in flour and cook for another minute. Gradually whisk in chicken broth and milk, and cook, stirring constantly, until liquid comes to a boil and is slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Add potatoes and bring back to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 12-15 minutes.
Stir in cream cheese until melted and add turkey, chard and corn. Cook until turkey is warm and chard is wilted, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. If the chowder is too thick, add more milk as needed until desired consistency is reached.