Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Dinner Snapshot - Root Vegetable Chowder with Smoked Cheddar

Mike and Kristin sent us a new cookbook book filled with recipes from their home state of Vermont. It’s filled with tasty items but as soon as I saw this recipe, I knew that it would be the first one made. I reserved it for a very cold day and was presented with the opportunity to make it yesterday. While the wind howled, the temperatures hovered around 10, and snow piled up, we filled our bellies with a hearty, in-season soup to get us through the cold winter night.


½ lb bacon strips
12 thyme stems
6 rosemary stems
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, diced
3 parsnips, peeled and diced
2 small turnips, peeled and diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
½ lb fingerling potatoes, sliced
1 ¼ cup flour
3 quarts vegetable stock, heated
8 ounces smoked cheddar, shredded
1 cup cream
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste


1. In a large pot over a medium-high flame, cook the bacon until crisp.
2. Tie fresh herbs together with kitchen twine (or placed dried ones in a piece of cheesecloth, wrapped up and tied with twine).
3. Reduce the flame under the bacon to medium and add the butter, onions, parsnips, turnips, carrots, potatoes, and herbs. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Add the flour and cook for another 5 minutes over a medium-low flame.
5. Slowly stir in the vegetable stock and bring the chowder to a simmer over a medium flame. Whisk frequently. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
6. Remove herbs and discard.
7. Slowly stir in the cheese and whisk in the cream. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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