Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Slow-Cooker New Mexican Vegetable Chowder

This is my favorite vegetable soup. Ten minutes of prep in the morning, effortless slow cooking all day in a crockpot, five minutes of finishing and dinner is served. A few cups of the soup are pureed in a blender and then stirred back into the soup resulting in a thick "creamy" chowder without the addition of milk or cream. Best of all, the vegetables I used are just a guideline. Swap out whatever is in season. Just keep the sweet potato for richness.

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
(serves 6-8)

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
sea salt
black pepper

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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It is "Slow-Cooker" week at Food Network's Fall Fest roundup. Do you have a favorite slow-cooker recipe? Share in the comments section and/or link to your blog if you have one. 

Feed Me Phoebe: Moroccan Lamb Chili with Chickpeas, Sweet Potatoes and Kale
The Lemon Bowl: 
Slow Cooker Chicken and Vegetables with Cinnamon and Garlic
Jeanette's Healthy Living: 
Slow Cooker Chicken Vegetable Stew with Rosemary, Thyme and Sage
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: 
Slow Cooker Cassoulet
Slow-Cooked Meals from Breakfast through Dessert
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Slow-Cooker New Mexican Vegetable Chowder
Red or Green: 
Slow Cooker Red Beans, Vegetables & Rice
The Cultural Dish: 
Slow-Cooker Beef Stew
Domesticate Me: 
Slow Cooker Apple Pie Oatmeal (Vegan and Gluten-Free)
Taste with the Eyes: 
Elegant Braised Leeks
FN Dish: 
6 Desserts to Cook Low and Slow


I have started sharing my newest blog "California Girl in Taos."  Please visit and let me know what you think.

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