veggie chowder

I made the best soup in the world a few weeks ago.  Actually, the best soup in the universe.  My cute husband came in from outside looking like a snow man during our last snow storm and I felt compelled to dig through our cupboards to create some sort of hot comfort food for him. Note: we hadn’t gone grocery shopping.  I didn’t realize the leftover holiday remnants of my fridge and freezer would turn out to be likely my favorite soup ever.  What could I possibly do with an unopened container of cream as well as a partially consumed bottle of champagne?  Add some veggies of course to create Veggie Chowder!

Ingredients
1 pint of heavy cream (yeah, I know – this is not low fat!)
1 cup of champagne or white wine
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
3 tablespoons of butter or margarine
3 tablespoons of flour
1 onion, chopped
1 tub of Knorr Homestyle Stock
1/2 10 oz package of frozen spinach
4 small potatoes
3 carrots, chopped
1 cup of frozen string beans, chopped
1 cup of frozen corn
1 red pepper, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
herbs on hand to taste (I used a pinch of chopped fresh thyme and rosemary as well as dried oregano and dill)
a handful of chopped parsley

First, cube your potatoes into small pieces, add just enough water to cover them and the Knorr stock, and boil for 5 minutes.  You just want them to soften slightly rather than let them cook all the way through.  Save the potatoes and water and set aside.

Place your spinach in water to thaw and set aside.
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Get all of your veggies ready to toss into your soup.
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Next, sauté onions and garlic in butter or margarine.
sautee onions and garlic

Add flour, mix until it is a paste (roux) and let it bubble for a moment.  Add champagne and simmer for 10 minutes to reduce the alcohol.  Add the can of cream of mushroom soup.  Add your potatoes and the water they cooked in with the seasoning.
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Add your cream and stir together.  Add the vegetables and herbs.  Simmer for 10 minutes.
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Add salt, pepper, and chopped parsley.  Turn heat off and give the soup a final stir.  Do you have herb scissors?  We received this pair as a wedding gift and I couldn’t imagine living without them.
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Hubby Chris declares this soup–loaded with veggies that offer B vitamins, iron, calcium, fiber, vitamins K and A, and vitamin C–the best soup I’ve made to date.

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chowder

If you are wondering what those bright orange things are in the background of the picture above, they are pomanders, a favorite holiday tradition that–in mid January–still smells deliciously like orange and cloves.

Ps. This was my first post with pictures taken with my new Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lens (courtesy of Best-Husband-Ever). I’m getting to know it, so be patient with me as I work on my obsession with (and overuse of) the 1.4 part.  If you aren’t sure what that means, you can read a little tutorial here on nikonusa.com.

And speaking of photography, here’s a shameless work plug for two recent reviews I wrote:
Canon Powershot N Facebook Ready Camera Review
and
Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 Review

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