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Smoked Gouda & Sweet Potato Chowder

Feb 20, 2014

Wintertime always make me want soups, chowders and stews...said everyone who ever wrote a blog post about a soup recipe. Can you come up with a better opening line for a blog post about chowder? I'm a little stumped today because the weather is SO NICE AHH! I didn't even wear a coat to work. 

Well anyway, I made a big pot of this really delicious chowder that sounds healthy but it's basically cheese stew. Mmmmm. So without further leg kicking ado I present to you...

I hate chopping vegetables, so I get pre-chopped everything if I can find it.  You'll need:

  • 1 package chicken apple sausage
  • 1 onion, diced (I buy it pre-chopped and frozen)
  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed  (about two -- I just buy the pre-chopped ones, not much more expensive)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (pre-minced is soooooo much easier)
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 4 oz. smoked gouda (or the whole block if you love cheese as much as I do)
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cut sausage in bite-size chunks and brown in a pot, about 7-8 minutes. Use scissors vs. a knife because it's way simpler. Set aside.

If you have bacon fat, melt a tbsp in your pot. If not, you should start saving bacon fat for situations like this. I guess it's okay to use butter, or vegetable oil if you're really desperate.

Add diced onion to the pot and brown. If it's frozen still, put the heat on medium low and stir often for 10-15 minutes. 

Add sweet potatoes and garlic, and stir around in the pot so everything's mixed well.

Add thyme, nutmeg and chicken broth. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until the sweet potatoes are pretty soft, 15-20 minutes. 

Depending on how chunky you want your chowder, blend everything till you get it to your desired consistency. I use an immersion blender because it's a heck of a lot safer than attempting to pour boiling hot stuff into a blender that, if glass, I'm afraid will crack and/or explode, and then not only would glass be everywhere but so would boiling hot stuff. Safety first, y'all.

(In reality glass is probably fine. I'm also worried about plastic because what if it melts? Y'all might know the answers to these questions so feel free to educate me.)

Add the sausage to your blended mixture.

Add the half and half.

Break up the gouda into chunks and add that too. Stir until it gets all melty and everyone down your hallway can smell it and be jealous.

Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper (taste first because the other stuff in the pot is salted, so you may not need it). Dinnertime!

Okay, I know it looks like baby food, but trust me it's delicious. This has been my favorite soup-type meal this winter, and it doesn't take much time, unlike other soups that need to slow cook to let out all the flavors. I highly recommend making it if we have another snow day, but hopefully you can file this away until next winter!

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