Almost every Saturday morning, my two sisters and my dad play Scrabble online. My 91-year-old Dad usually wins because my sisters and I are too busy “chatting.” (He’s also the best player if you really want to know.) Our favorite topics include weekend plans, updates about our kids and menus. Upon the occasion of the first cold snap, somebody will ask, “Have you made your first bowl of soup yet?” If I have, it is sure to be this recipe. Guaranteed to warm your innards and soothe your soul.
Serve this chowder with fresh-baked crusty cornbread or my favorite, cornbread twists. You must crumble it into the soup with both hands to get the full effect and best flavor. Eating it politely will stifle the joy.
- ½ cup onions, chopped
- ⅓ cup celery, chopped
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 lbs potatoes or 4-5 medium potatoes, peeled
- ½ pound sliced carrots (3-4 medium carrots), peeled or scrubbed and diced
- 6 cups chicken broth or equivalent water + chicken boullion
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons flour
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cup milk (I prefer skim)
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1-2 cups American processed cheese or any kind that melts smoothly, cut in chunks
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Using large pot, saute onions and celery in butter over low/medium heat until tender, not brown.
- Add chicken broth, potatoes, carrots and bay leaf. Simmer until vegetables are tender.
- Make a slurry of flour and water. Add to soup and cook about 5 minutes until slightly thickened. You want to get rid of the raw flour taste. Turn heat to low and stir in cheese. Add milk until soup is consistency you prefer. Do not allow to boil once you add the milk and cheese or it will curdle especially if you have used a lowfat milk.
- Remove bay leaf. Use a potato masher or granny fork to lightly mash a few of the vegetables for a thicker texture.
- Stir in pepper, salt and fresh chopped parsley for a fabulous finish and a fine tasting porridge.