Since we’re gearing up for a huge winter blizzard in this part of the country, my mind has shifted towards soup. Steaming hot, hearty soup – chowder even! I had a few minutes to organize my refrigerator and freezer this morning, so I pulled out some ingredients to whip up a small chowder (seriously, I say small because this was only two servings – so adjust accordingly for your family size). I had a leftover Meyer Lemon Dijon Mustard Chicken breast, spied some red potatoes and frozen corn – thus my inspiration. Here is how I did it, and as I often do, I did not really measure. So the amounts are approximate and the ingredients are flexible, which means you can improvise to your taste. I hope you will be creative and dish up a chowder that’s perfect for you.
Any blend of minced onion, celery, and sweet and/or hot peppers. Because I always process lots and lots of peppers in the summer into frozen ice cube or mini muffin tin sized “cubes” (see The Big Pepper Freeze), adding them for flavor, color and extra vitamins to a soup is a snap. This is what I pulled out of my freezer this morning: 1 “cube” each Vidalia onion, green bell pepper, sweet red bell pepper, hot red Hungarian wax pepper. A cube is approximately 1 tablespoon.
1 to 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
Sliced carrots – approximately 1/2 cup
2 red potatoes, peeled and diced
Frozen corn – approximately 1/2 to 1 cup
Pinch of garlic and dried thyme, salt and pepper to taste
1 – 4 ounce cooked or baked chicken breast, diced small (seasoned, plain, whatever you have – mine was tangy and lemony, which gave a fresh zip to the chowder)
Low fat evaporated milk
Simmer the veggies with garlic and thyme in 1 cup of broth approximately 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and additional broth to just cover the potatoes. Cook until almost tender, then add the corn. Add broth if necessary, but you really only want the broth to cover the potatoes so that when you add the milk it will be a chunky, hearty chowder, as opposed to a thin and brothy soup. When the potatoes and corn are tender, add the cooked chicken. Heat through. Smash up a few cubes of potatoes to thicken the soup if desired. Add the evaporated milk to the soup in the pan until it is your desired consistency. Heat through. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and some freshly ground black pepper if you like.