You may have noticed that I rarely peel vegetables in my recipes. So many nutrients are missed this way, along with the fiber. In all honestly, I like potato skins better than potatoes. So the only vegetable I peel in the chowder is the celery. Even easier when prepping on a busy morning.
This soup is a riff of a recipe from Bon Appetit Magazine that I have been using since 1994! I adjusted to make it work in a crockpot and, of course, added New Mexican green chile because..well..why not? My slow cooker is a million years old, so not very big. This recipe fits perfectly in my machine. If you have a larger version by all means double or triple the recipe. It freezes like a dream. Just don't add the spinach to the batch you want to freeze. Add it during the last five minutes when reheating. The fresh flavor it adds to the soup is the perfect finishing touch. Oh...speaking of finishing touches. Use a big, bold, spicy olive oil for finishing as it will really set off the smoothness of the chowder. Happy Fall!
Slow-Cooker New Mexican Vegetable Chowder
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 white onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium sweet potato, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 carrots cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 head broccoli, separated into florets (cut larger ones in half)
1 10 oz package, organic frozen corn (or fresh in season)
1 fresh New Mexican chile, chopped
6 cups organic vegetable broth (homemade or boxed)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried Italian parsley (or 2 tablespoons fresh, chopped)
4 handfuls baby spinach leaves
Heat medium sized skillet over high heat. Add olive oil, onion and celery. Saute for 4 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Add then garlic and saute another minute.
Pour onion mixture into the bowl of a crockpot. Add next 5 ingredients and broth. Stir in bay leaf, cayenne pepper, parsley and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
Cover crockpot and set to High. Cook for 6-8 hours or until vegetables are soft. Remove 3 cups soup and puree in a blender. Add the puree to remaining soup, along with the spinach. Stir and allow to sit for 5 minutes uncovered. (Turn crockpot off). Adjust seasonings if necessary and serve immediately in large bowls with an excellent extra virgin olive oil drizzled over the top.
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