|Cheesy Veggie Chowder from "Soup's On!" by Valerie Phillips|
The schools and county declared a "snow day," meaning no school and no offices open. I know it's also a soup day.
I searched the freezer and found I had most of the ingredients for the Cheesy Veggie Chowder recipe from my cookbook, "Soup's On!" But whatever I didn't have, too bad. I wasn't going to the grocery store. That's the beauty of this soup, and many others, is that you can swap out ingredients depending on what you have on hand. Instead of carrots, I used a can of corn. Instead of Velveeta, I used 8 ounces of lite cream cheese and more broth. Instead of cooking it on the stovetop, which only takes 30 minutes, I decided to simmer it in my slow cooker for about three hours, then added the broccoli and peas during 15 minutes before serving so they didn't lose their bright green color.
CHEESY VEGGIE CHOWDER
Prep time: 30 minutes
Makes about 6 1 ½-C. servings
No peeling or chopping required for this fast chowder! Feel free to experiment with adding other favorite vegetables. Add the peas near the end of cooking time so they keep their bright color.
2 cans chicken broth (or 4 bouillon cubes plus 3 3/4 C. water)
1 28-oz. package frozen Southern-style hash browns O’Brien
2 Tbsp. dried chopped onions
1 ½ C. frozen diced carrots (or about 1 C. fresh sliced carrots) -
1 lb. Velveeta processed cheese
1 C. milk
1 12-oz. package frozen chopped broccoli
1 C. frozen peas
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Pour broth in a large (4-quart) pot over high heat. Add hash browns, onions and carrots; cover and allow the broth to come to a gentle boil.
2. Cook 10 minutes, or until potatoes and carrots are almost tender.
3. While vegetables are cooking, cut Velveeta cheese into large slices or chunks.
4. Lower the heat to medium and stir in Velveeta, milk, and broccoli. Simmer another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until broccoli is tender and Velveeta is melted.
5. Stir in peas. Taste and add salt or pepper as desired. Allow the soup to stand, off the heat, for about 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with shredded cheese, bacon or parsley.
Options: If you have time, you can add chopped vegetables such as celery or cauliflower during the cooking process.