Cheesy Cauliflower Chowder

Cauliflower Chowder

If you’re looking for a low carb alternative to potato soup, this may be it.  Full of healthy vegetables, I added cheese, half and half, cayenne and my favorite vegetable seasoning to the original recipe for added creaminess and flavor.

Cheesy Cauliflower Chowder

adapted from Damn Delicious

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 medium stalks celery, diced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup low fat half and half
1 medium sized head cauliflower, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to your taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup sharp grated cheese
1/2 teaspoon Penzey’s Fox Point Seasoning (optional)

Saute garlic, onion, carrots and celery in melted butter in a large soup pot over medium heat until tender. Add chopped cauliflower and bay leaf. Continue to sauté for about 3 minutes, until cauliflower is at the al dente stage. Do not overcook or cauliflower will be mushy.

Add in flour and stir in for about 1 minute, until flour is cooked. Add half and half and broth and stir until slightly thickened. Increase to high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Because the size of the vegetables will vary, you may want to add additional half and half if soup is too thick.

Fox Point seasoning  is a vegetable seasoning made of salt, dried shallots, chives, garlic, onion and green peppercorns that adds great flavor. Fox Point is available online if you don’t have a Penzey’s store in your area. There are similar seasonings in your grocery store. Experiment with your favorite seasonings to get the results you are looking for.

Add chopped parsley and serve. Makes 6 servings.


Corn and Potato Chowder

Corn and Potato Chowder

Here’s a  savory stew that’s perfect for these cold winter nights. Made with simple ingredients that you probably have in your pantry, you’ll have a delicious dinner ready in no time.

Corn and Potato Chowder

You will need:

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup low fat half & half, warmed in microwave
4 cups low sodium chicken broth, warmed in microwave
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
4 cups diced yukon gold potatoes
2 cups frozen corn
1 small sweet onion diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Fresh or dried parsley
6 slices Pork or Turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled

Sauté  onion in a large soup pot over medium heat for 4-5 minutes until translucent. Add minced garlic and corn and continue to sauté for 3 additional minutes.

Whisk in flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Whisk in warmed milk, then add chicken broth, one cup at a time, stirring well after each addition.  Bring heat up to medium-high, then add potatoes. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne. Simmer for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

When potatoes are done remove from heat. Stir in cheddar cheese until melted. Spoon into serving bowls and garnish with bacon pieces and parsley, if desired. Serve with cornbread.

Makes 6 servings



Chipotle Shrimp Chowder

Chipotle Shrimp Chowder

Chowder cover

Inspired by Smokey Corn Chowder with Shrimp from Bev Cooks and Smokey Corn Chowder from Real Simple

Having grown up on the Gulf coast of Alabama, I’m very fond of seafood, to say the least. Whenever I go home for a visit, I eat it non-stop, boiled, sautéed and fried-you name it. So I was so happy to find frozen shrimp at my local grocery store caught down in good ole Bayou La Batre. I had recently made gumbo, so I started the search for something different.

A while back I tried the Smokey Corn Chowder recipe that I had pinned from “Bev Cooks” and it was awesome. Her recipe is just for two, which worked out great. This dish was a big hit but it occurred to me that potatoes would be a good addition, giving the chowder a hearty, thicker base. Today I’d like leftovers, so between the two recipes I made some adjustments and created my own version.

I haven’t been successful in finding smoked paprika in the grocery store so in searching for a substitute I decided on Chipotle peppers in adobo. I love it’s intensely smoky flavor and it gave my chowder just the right amount of kick.

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This recipe makes 4 main course portions or 6 first course portions.

6 slices bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large sweet onion chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 Chipotle Pepper minced and 1 teaspoon Adobo Sauce
3 cups frozen corn
2 cups small diced potatoes
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup half and half
One pound (21-25) large shrimp, cleaned and deveined, tails removed. Cut all but 4 of the shrimp in half (or 6 if serving as first course)
Salt and pepper to taste
Cilantro or parsley for garnish

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Heat a large dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add the bacon and sauté until crisp. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the drippings. Add shrimp and cook just until no longer pink (do not overcook). Remove shrimp. Add onions and sauté until translucent.
Add the garlic and sauté for just a minute being careful not to burn. Turn up the heat and add the corn, potatoes and chipotle pepper and adobo, broth and half and half and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 15- 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Don’t be alarmed if the half and half appears to be curdled.
Transfer 2 cups of the chowder to a blender. Puree just until you get a smooth, thick consistency. Return to pot and add salt and pepper to taste. Add cut shrimp just before serving. Serve in soup bowls and garnish each with the bacon and a whole shrimp and cilantro.

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