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Thick and Cheesy Vegetable Chowder

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If thick and creamy and cheesy is your thing, then this is absolutely the soup for you. Plus, we stuffed it full of veggies, so you’re still getting tons of nutrients and a filling meal that’ll warm you up right from the first bite. This dish is not to be underestimated; if you first read that it’s a veggie chowder and thought, “what’s so great about that?,” definitely hang on a second and give it a shot. We have loved this soup since the first time we made it and firmly believe that it doesn’t need anything else to make it better, it’s perfect just the way it is – stuffed to the brim with broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, onion and celery, and perfectly seasoned with lots of yummy herbs.

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The key to making this chowder is all in the roux mixture and cheese we add in at the end. A roux is a thickening agent typically made from melting butter, whisking in flour and cooking until it turns golden brown. You can then whisk in a liquid like chicken broth or milk or cream, which then gets stirred into whatever you want to thicken, in this case, our chowder. This is one of the final steps in the cooking process, followed by adding the cheddar cheese. These steps add tons of flavor and creaminess, along with lots of cheesy flavor, so they’re definitely crucial and aren’t to be skipped.

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We didn’t used to love soups as much as we do these days, now that we’ve realized how yummy they can be, how easy they are to make, and how great they are for nights when we need something comforting and filling without wanting to spend hours over the stove. Plus, with only two pots to clean up, you can easily delegate a family member to tackle it after dinner, so you can put your feet up. And that’s living the dream, folks. Enjoy!

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Vegetable Chowder

35 minutes to prepare serves 8-10

Ingredients

  • 1 (32 oz.) carton low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 heads broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1/2 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne or chili powder
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
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Preparation

  1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat and sauté onion, carrot and celery for 6-8 minutes, or until softened.
  2. Add minced garlic and sauté for another 1 minute, or until fragrant. Season with Italian seasoning, thyme, paprika, cayenne or chili powder, and salt and pepper.
  3. Pour in chicken or veggie broth and stir in cubed potatoes. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are just fork tender.
  4. Add broccoli and cauliflower florets and cook for another 6-8 minutes, or until crisp-tender.
  5. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter and whisk in flour. Cook roux mixture for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown, then whisk in milk.
  6. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat and let thicken, stirring frequently. Stir in heavy cream and season with salt and pepper, then whisk mixture into soup.
  7. Add cheese as well and stir until melted and smooth.
  8. Transfer to serving bowls, serve hot and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Life Made Simple

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