Recipe by Chez Crinklebug
This is a great basic cream soup or chowder. You can adjust it to fit your tastes, ie: cream of broccoli, corn chowder, clam chowder or oyster soup. It is very low in fat and quite simple, just takes some minding not to scald the milk.
- 1 tablespoon light margarine (I use a healthier margarine with NO TFAs or hydrogenation)
- 2 (14 ounce) cans low sodium chicken broth, without msg
- 3 leeks, slice into thin coins, throwing out woody green parts (can substitute with an onion or a bunch of green onions, but DO NOT substitute with garlic!)
- 1 lb precooked specialty sausage, in bite size pieces (I use roasted red bell pepper chicken sausage, unless I'm making clam chowder, then I use a pound of)
- 2 medium potatoes, cut into small cubes (so they cook fast)
- 2 cups vegetables (I use fresh broccoli, chopped into oblivion, but you can use frozen corn, frozen peas or a mixture,)
- 4 (12 ounce) cans evaporated skim milk (you can substitute for evap. whole milk if fat is not an issue)
- 3 cups warm water
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup instant mashed potatoes (more for thicker)
Directions See How It's Made
- Over medium-high heat (7), in a large, heavy bottomed pot (or whatever ya'v got), melt the margarine.
- Add leaks, and cook them down until it seems the margarine has disappeared, then add a couple glugs of the chicken broth, just enough to boil up and, stirring constantly, until the broth has evaporated and repeat until you've reduced a whole can of stock into the leaks and you have a thick gravy like sauce.
- Add in your choice of meat, potato cubes and the remaining can of chicken broth (if you are adding fresh broccoli, add it now, frozen or canned veggies, wait), reduce heat to medium-low (3).
- Add salt and simmer until the potatoes are tender.
- Add veggies and incorporate well until heated through.
- Stir in each can of milk slowly, preventing scald, and continue to stir, cleaning the bottom with each sweep, DO NOT BURN THE MILK! Stir constantly and at medium-low (3), you should not have to worry much about boiling, but be sure it does not boil after adding milk!
- Add the water, salt and pepper to taste. Make sure you have the rich flavor you desire. Do not boil, stir constantly.
- Slowly add potato flakes. S L O W L Y! Be sure to stir constantly and wait for them to thicken up before adding more. I like it THICK, so I add more than I suspect most would, I use just over a cup.
- Serve with a crusty sourdough and butter, or a rich whole wheat bread, soft and pillowy.
- I am a slow cook. I take my time, so it may not take you as long to make this, but NONE of the time is passive work time. You have to watch this chowder, or any soup/sauce using a lower fat milk product, as fat keeps dairy from curdling, and evaporated skim milk, although it lends a rich flavor, does not contain the fat necessary to prevent curdling. But this is wonderful stuff and you can adjust it to be your low-fat base for any chowder or cream soup.
- Taste your chowder before you serve it! Make sure it is salty enough, but more sweet and creamy than salty.
- WARNING: VERY, VERY FILLING!