Cheery Chowder - Vegetarian Times

Cheery Chowder

What’s a surefire way to get kids dashing to the dinner table? Simmer up a batch of hearty soup, and then sit back and watch it disappear. Kids love soup—it’s warm and soothing and slurpy.
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What’s a surefire way to get kids dashing to the dinner table? Simmer up a batch of hearty soup, and then sit back and watch it disappear. Kids love soup—it’s warm and soothing and slurpy. And although everyone has a favorite, chowder seems to be on most people’s list of most wanted. Typically, we think of chowder as a creamy seafood soup. But a good chowder needn’t contain seafood—or a lot of cream, for that matter. Instead, it can be chock-full of healthful, nutritious vegetables.

Besides being kid-friendly, soup has other advantages. It can be made ahead. You’ll probably end up with leftovers—a bonus for busy families. And it’s great on its own or easy to build a full meal around: Just add bread and a salad.

This quick vegetable chowder is packed with potatoes, carrots, zucchini and corn, but it’s easy to vary. Just make the puréed chowder base, and add whatever vegetables your kids like best. Of course, there may not be any leftovers….

Ken Haedrich is the author of several cookbooks, including Soup Makes the Meal. He loves to build meals around a great bowl of soup.

Slurpy Vegetable Chowder
Serves 6       

1 Tbs. vegetable oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup uncooked long-grain rice
4 cups vegetable stock
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1 cup peeled, chopped carrots
1 cup chopped zucchini
11/2 cups peeled, chopped russet potatoes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels
1 tsp. dried basil

1. Heat oil over medium heat in large saucepan. Add onion, and cook, stirring often, 8 to 9 minutes, or until softened. Add rice, 2 cups stock, mustard and 1 cup water. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes, or until rice is tender.

2. Pour chowder base into food processor, purée until smooth, then return to pot (or use an immersion blender and purée in pot). Add remaining stock, vegetables, salt and pepper. Cover and cook 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Stir in corn and basil, and cook until
heated through. Serve.

Per serving: 150 CAL; 3G PROT; 3G TOTAL FAT (0G SAT. FAT); 28G CARB; 0MG CHOL; 480MG SOD; 3G FIBER; 4G SUGARS