It’s been wintry outside and I’m feeling a little under the weather so I had to whip up some good ol’ comfort food. There is nothing better than a big warm bowl of soup and a slice of homemade bread…okay maybe except cinnamon rolls. Anyway, I threw this together and put it in the crock pot before I took the boys to their very first swim class! Tear! I can’t believe I finally have kids old enough to do that kind of stuff. Anyway, it really hit the spot to come home all wet and drippy and slurp down this delicious stuff. Mom, shield your eyes! (she hates corn).
Corn Chowder with Parmesan Cheese (original picture and recipe from For The Love of Cooking)
- 3-4 pieces of bacon
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1/4 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 Idaho potatoes, peeled and diced
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups of milk
- 3 1/2 cups of fresh or frozen corn
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup of Parmesan Cheese, shredded
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
Cook the bacon over medium heat in a large Dutch oven. Once cooked, remove and drain grease on a paper towel, crumble and set aside. Add chopped onions, celery, carrots, red bell pepper, and thyme to the pan and saute for 8-9 minutes or until soft; add garlic and cook for 45 seconds stirring frequently. Add stock, bay leaf, potatoes, corn, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. In a separate bowl, ladle hot soup slowly into the 2 cups of milk until it becomes warm; once it’s warm pour slowly into the hot soup. Note: Never pour cold milk into hot soup – it will curdle. Cook until potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. If you like a chunky soup leave as is, but if you like a smoother soup, use your immersion blender (don’t forget to remove your bay leaf first). Mix in the Parmesan cheese and parsley just before serving. Garnish with bacon crumbles.
The Mr.: Not his favorite soup, but had 2 helpings.
Me: Pretty good…but I wish I had taken the time to put it in the blender. It probably tastes better with a creamier texture.
The Wild One: Ate it over bread
Tornado: Ate it! And it went shockingly fast through his digestive tract…if you know what I’m sayin.’
Wow, I don’t know why I feel so slammed this week. It’s taken me forever to get back in the swing of things since the holidays. I have so many things on my to do list, and a million things running through my head that I want to talk about on here, but I can’t seem to get organized! Bear with me…I’ll get it together soon. Anyway, one thing I AM managing to accomplish is an occassional meal for the fam. Tonight we had a delicious combo of vegetable chowder and spinach muffins. Yes, there is sugar in the muffins, despite my no processed food challenge. I have more to say on this subject, which I will tackle tomorrow so stay tuned. For now, just ignore that little detail and enjoy these yummy recipes.
Cheesy Vegetable Chowder (originally adapted from For the Love of Cooking)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup of carrots, diced finely
- 2-3 stalks of celery, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp flour (divided)
- 6 cups of homemade vegetable or chicken broth
- 2 cups of potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2/3 cup of milk
- 2 cups of broccoli florets
- 2 heaping cups of sharp cheddar, shredded
- Heat the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Once the butter has melted add the onions, carrots, and celery then sauté for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic then cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
- Add 1 tablespoon of flour then stir until well combined and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the vegetable or chicken broth and mix well.
- Add the potatoes then cover with a lid and simmer for 35-40 minutes; add the broccoli florets and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes or until all of the vegetables are softened.
- Add the last tablespoon of flour to the cheese and toss to coat evenly then add to the soup along with the milk.
- Stir frequently until the cheese has melted and is well combined. If you want an even thicker soup, mix some broth with some corn starch to make a slurry then add to the soup and stir until thickened.
The Mr.: Liked it
Me: Loved it
The Wild One: Ate about half of it, and I had to put it over bread for him to eat it.
Tornado: 50% in his mouth, 50% on the floor.
Spinach Muffins (orginally adapted from Weelicious)
- 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
- 1 Large Egg
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Cup Fresh Spinach, packed
- 1/3 Cup Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Vegetable or Canola Oil
- 1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour (I used whole wheat)
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Place the first 6 ingredients in a food processor and puree.
- Place the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and combine.
- Pour the spinach puree in a large mixing bowl.
- Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet until combined.
- Scoop batter into a greased mini muffin tin, filling each cup 2/3 of the way.
- Bake for 12 minutes.
The Mr.: He had to leave town before he could taste it! Oh well, more for me.
Me: Double yum. I had two.
The Wild One: “Mommy, these muffins are super delicious.” Also had two.
Tornado: I taught him how to say, “mmmm” and he ate a half.