Hearty Vegetable Chowder is oh so yummy.
You may think that I am going soup crazy these days, and you would be right!
I find it the most satisfying of meals in the winter.
What sets this soup apart and makes it special is the added flavor of butternut squash and just a hint of cayenne. Yes, cayenne! Adding the spice brightens the flavor of all the other vegetables.
Not only is it a satisfying meal but it is so beautiful to make and serve.
Look at these colors! Green-to-white leeks, carrots, butternut squash and the parsnip (which is no colorful but is a wonderful addition).
Adding the initial ingredients creates a fiesta in a pan! This palette is vibrant and lively and just makes you smile. I swear.
The fragrance wafting about your kitchen will get your appetite going.
I am always on the lookout for a great and hearty soup. Once I find a recipe I tweak it here and there to make it my own.
With this soup I made only minor changes such as swapping half and half for normal cream and reducing the water a bit.
Hearty Vegetable Chowder
Makes 6 servings
2 large leeks, cleaned and sliced thin – include the light green and tender part of the stalk as well
1 lb diced butternut squash
½ lb parsnips, peeled and diced
½ lb carrots, sliced
2/3 cup barley
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 box (32 oz.) vegetable broth
2 cups water (or as needed to barely cover vegetables in initial cooking)
1 can (14.5 oz) petite-cut diced tomatoes
1 tsp fresh thyme chopped (and some sprigs for serving)
1 box (10 oz)frozen corn
1 cup half and half
1/4 cup chopped parsley
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Combine leeks, squash , parsnips, carrots, barley and garlic in slow cooker Stir in broth, water, tomatoes and thyme. If needed add a little bit more water to just barely cover vegetables. Cover and cook until veggies are just tender. The recipe suggested cooking on HIGH for 6 hours or on LOW for 8 hours.
I did not have that much time so I started the initial ingredients in my soup pot and brought to heat. Then I transferred to my preheated slow cooker. On HIGH it took about 4 hours to tender. Do not overcook, you don’t want mushy. Even when using the original directions I would check the soup from time to time to avoid overcooking.
Once those veggies are done – stir in corn, half and half, parsley, salt and pepper and cayenne. Take a taste to make sure the corn is heated through, adjust seasonings and serve with sprigs of rosemary.
A completely satisfying meal and oh-so-good for you.
P.S. Keep all the vegetable scraps and, after rinsing, throw in a pot and make Homemade Delicious and Nutritious Soup Stock for another day. Add a little bit of garlic and any other wilting veggies you have on hand!
Hearty Vegetable Chowder is Partying here: