Tuesday, April 8, 2014

See ya Winter! Bring on Spring! .... Please?

If you haven’t heard about our Chicago Spring, it’s probably because some are still calling it Winter.  I have hope – hope that the tulips that are springing up are a true sign that Winter is but a bad snowy memory and that Spring has sprung.  We’ve had some pretty chilly days yet this Spring and what is better on a chilly day?  Warm hot soup or chowder.  This chowder came together easy the night before I served it.  I have a theory that soups are better the next day, so often I’ll make them the night before.  Not only does it make for deeper flavor, it makes dinner easy for the next night, just warm it up and just like that – hot soup!
For added yum – add some green onions on top of the hot soup – gives it an extra oniony zip.

Chicken and Potato Chowder
What you need!

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk, or more, as needed
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups diced cooked chicken breast
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Make it!Melt butter in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in thyme until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in chicken broth and milk, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in potatoes.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 12-15 minutes. Stir in chicken and cheese, a handful at a time, until smooth, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. If the chowder is too thick, add more milk as needed until desired consistency is reached.
Serve immediately or refrigerate and head up another time, garnished with parsley, if desired.

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