Cheese and Vegetable Chowder with Fresh Herbs

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In these colder months, I love warming bowls of creamy soup speckled with finely chopped root vegetables, fresh herbs, and sprinkled with fresh parsley.   This soup is heaven served with a piece or two of sourdough bread with a little grass-fed butter.

I might even say this is my favorite soup (barring the wild mushroom soup I ate at Zingerman’s in Michigan a few years ago).  Every time I make it I savor each bite and eat slowly and happily.  So pull up a CSA box and get a-food-processing.  This one is worth it. I think my strange obsession with this soup stems from the use of a purple-top turnip.  I do not think I ever ate these as a child.  I don’t remember knowing what a turnip was as a child!  So perhaps I am enamored with it’s earthy texture and understated flavor.

It also could be that I simply adore soups where the vegetables are finely chopped.  I think it gives the perfect bite every time, so that your palate is hit with all the different vegetables and flavors together in unison.  It’s like savory confetti for a party in my mouth.

Equipment Needed:

Note: You can make this soup GAPS-legal by subbing broccoli or cauliflower for the potato, using coconut flour instead of sprouted flour to thicken the soup, and using sour cream or 24-hour GAPS yogurt instead of the cream.

Cheese and Vegetable Chowder

4-6 tablespoons butter (buy grass-fed butter here)
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large leek, split lengthwise and thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
6 T. sprouted whole grain flour (buy sprouted flour here, how to make sprouted flour here)
5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade (how to make chicken stock here)
3 carrots, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1 turnip, peeled and finely diced
1 large potato, finely chopped
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1/8 tsp. dried thyme (buy organic herbs here)
1½ cups raw cream or half-and-half (find raw milk and cream near you here)
.
10½ oz. mature raw Cheddar cheese, grated (buy grass-fed cheeses here)
fresh chopped parsley, to sprinkle on top
salt and pepper to taste (buy unrefined sea salt here and organic pepper here)
.

  1. Melt the butter in a large heavy-based saucepan or stockpot over a medium-low heat. Add the onion and leek. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the vegetables start to soften.  Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 more minutes, taking care it doesn’t burn.
  2. Stir the flour into the vegetables and continue cooking for 2 minutes.
  3. Add a little of the stock and stir well, scraping the bottom of the pan to mix in the flour. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, and slowly stir in the rest of the stock.
  4. Add the carrots, celery, turnip, potato, thyme and bay leaf. Reduce the heat, cover and cook gently for about 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender. Remove the bay leaf and the thyme branches.
  5. Add the cheese a few handfuls at a time, stirring constantly for about a minute after each addition, to make sure it is completely melted. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning, adding salt if needed, and pepper to taste.
  6. Turn off the heat and stir in the cream until warmed through. 
  7. Ladle immediately into warm bowls, sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley and serve.

This post is a part of Sunday School, Sunday Night Soup Night, Weekend Gourmet, Monday Mania, Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Healthy2day Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, The Mommy Club, Full Plate Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Fresh Bites Friday, Fight Back Friday, and Friday Food Flicks.

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.
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Comments

  1. This looks absolutely wonderful. I love the combination of vegetables and the cream and herbs must complement them perfectly!

  2. This looks so warming and nourishing and would be great for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Would you mind posting this on my pregnancy food blog carnival, superfood sundays?

    http://www.painfreepregnancy.org/2012/03/superfood-sunday-3rd-edition-march-11.html

    Thanks!!

  3. Hi Kendahl, this looks fantastic! I’ve made seafood chowders, but never thought to do vegetarian one, but it sounds perfect! I’m pinning this! Thanks for sharing this with Sunday Night Soup Night.

  4. This looks delicious, but could you please offer some clarification for a novice? The ingredient list mentions a potato but no broccoli. Step 4 of the instructions mentions broccoli but no potato. Do you use both, and if so, how much broccoli do you need? Thanks.

  5. I just tweeted and pinned this soup as one of my favorites from Sunday Night Soup Night! Thanks for linking up and I
    hope to see you again soon :)

  6. I *love* chowders. They are absolutely one of my most favorite kinds of soups. Yours looks drool worthy. Thanks for sharing this recipe at Fight Back Fridays!

    Cheers,
    ~KristenM
    (AKA Food Renegade)

    • Glad to see you here Kristen! I adore chowders as well. And even though I said this is my favorite soup ever, I might change my mind if I had a seafood chowder in my hand :D

  7. Hi Kendahl,
    Your Cheese and Vegetable Chowder looks wonderful, I just love all those wonderful veggies! Hope you are having a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
    Miz Helen

  8. Oh my; this sounds so delicious and so healthy. Yum! Thanks for sharing at Healthy 2Day Wednesday; come back tomorrow and see if you were featured!

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