Vegetable Chowder

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Our creamy vegetable chowder is packed with vegetables and cheese, and strikes an ideal balance between nourishment and taste. Brimming with a medley of vegetables, it serves as an excellent choice for a quick weeknight dinner and is delicious as a tasty leftover lunch the following day.

a bowl of vegetable chowder next to the pot of soup

Ingredients

Here are some of the key ingredients you’ll need

  • Broccoli and Cauliflower:
    • Purpose: Adding bulk, texture, and a variety of nutrients.
    • Importance: Broccoli and cauliflower contribute to the heartiness of the chowder, offering vitamins, minerals, and a satisfying crunch.
  • Evaporated Milk:
    • Purpose: Adding creaminess and richness.
    • Importance: Evaporated milk contributes a velvety texture and a slightly sweet flavor, enhancing the overall creaminess of the chowder.
  • Tamari:
    • Purpose: Providing umami and a savory kick.
    • Importance: Tamari contributes a depth of flavor and adds a savory, slightly salty note to the chowder.
  • Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese:
    • Purpose: Adding creaminess, flavor, and a cheesy element.
    • Importance: Cheddar cheese brings a rich, cheesy taste to the chowder, complementing the other ingredients and creating a luscious texture.

How To Make Broccoli and Cauliflower Cheese Soup

1. Sauté the onions and garlic

“Sautéing” is a cooking method that cooks the ingredient(s) quickly in a small amount of oil or fat. For this recipe, you will sauté the onions in olive oil.

Add 1 TBSP of olive oil to a skillet over medium-high and heat for 1 minute. Then, add the diced onion and sauté until translucent (about 3-4 minutes). “Translucent” means that you should be able to almost see through the onions. Stir the onions – watching for your onions to turn from solid white in color to translucent while shrinking in size. The onions will also start smelling sweet because sautéing helps onions develop a sweet flavor.

Add the minced garlic to the sautéed onions and stir for an additional 1 minute. You should start to smell the garlic as it cooks. The garlic adds an extra boost of flavor.

INGREDIENT SWAP: You can swap the 4 cloves of fresh garlic for 1 + 1/3 teaspoon of garlic powder.

2. Steam the broccoli and cauliflower

Add the broccoli and cauliflower to the stockpot. For this recipe, you will use approximately 5 cups of both cauliflower and broccoli (10 cups of vegetables total). Add 1 cup of chicken broth to the pot.

PRO TIP: Add other vegetables like celery, carrots, peas, corn and/or potatoes. This is a great way to use up any produce before it spoils.

Cover the stockpot with the lid. Then, steam the vegetables over medium-high heat for 6-7 minutes. “Steaming” allows a liquid to heat to a temperature where steam is created, which then cooks the food. In this recipe, the broth creates the steam that cooks the broccoli and cauliflower.

3. Add the liquids and spices

To the stockpot, add the rest of the chicken stock, evaporated milk, tamari, and pepper. Bring to a low simmer. Simmering the liquids and spices really helps to create the delicious flavor of this soup.

PRO TIP: If your soup is at a rapid boil (lots of bubbles at the surface), lower the heat to prevent the soup from burning.

close up of vegetable chowder in a pot

4. Make the roux

Mixing fat, flour and liquid together over heat makes a roux. This helps to create a thick & creamy soup.

For this soup recipe, you will use butter as the fat. Melt the butter over medium-low heat in the skillet. Then, whisk in the flour. For the liquid, you will use some hot liquid from the soup. Using a measuring cup, add 1/4 cup of hot liquid from the stockpot into the skillet. Whisk the liquid into the flour mixture. Repeat adding 1/4 cup of hot liquid 7 more times until you’ve whisked in a total of 2 cups of liquid into the flour mixture.

5. Thicken the soup

While the soup is simmering, whisk the homemade roux into the soup. Continue to cook for about 3-4 minutes.

6. Add the cheese

Stir the cheese into the soup until completely melted. The 2 cups of cheese will help the soup to thicken too. Puree the soup if desired then serve hot.

a cup of vegetable chowder

Recipe Tips

  • Prep First: Before you start cooking, make sure all your ingredients are chopped, measured, and ready to go. It’ll make the cooking process smoother.
  • Saute with Care: When sauteing the onions and garlic, watch them closely to avoid burning. Translucent and slightly golden is the goal.
  • Don’t Overcook Veggies: When steaming the broccoli and cauliflower, be mindful not to overcook them. You want them tender but still vibrant and not mushy.
  • Adjust Seasoning: Taste your soup before adding more salt or pepper. Depending on the saltiness of your chicken broth and cheese, you might need less seasoning.
  • Thicken Gradually: When making the roux, add hot liquid from the soup gradually to avoid lumps. Whisk it in until smooth each time.
  • Consistency Control: Blend the soup to your preferred level of creaminess. If you like some texture, don’t blend it too smooth.
  • Melting Cheese: Stir in the cheese over low heat to prevent it from clumping. Patience pays off here!
  • Garnish Creatively: Get creative with toppings like croutons, shredded cheese, chopped herbs, or a dollop of sour cream to enhance both flavor and presentation.
top down shot of vegetable chowder in a dutch oven

FAQs

Can I use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth?

Absolutely! This is a great ingredient swap. Especially, if it saves you a trip from the store.

Can I puree this soup recipe?

Yes, this recipe can be pureed if you are looking for a smooth versus chunky soup. You could use a potato masher (will not be totally pureed) or an immersion blender (will be totally pureed). You could even pour 2-3 cups of the soup in a blender and blend while covering with a paper towel.

What can I serve with soup?

So many possibilities! Here are some ideas to serve with soup: grilled cheese sandwich, BLT sandwich or dinner rolls. Here are some ideas to serve in soup: oyster crackers, gold fish crackers or croutons.

close up of chowder in a bowl

Storage Instructions

Once your soup has cooled down to room temperature, transfer any remaining portion to an airtight container. Ensure that the container is well-sealed to prevent any air from getting in, as exposure to air can cause the soup to deteriorate more quickly.

Place the airtight container in the refrigerator, where the soup can be safely kept for up to 3-4 days. When reheating, simply warm it gently on the stovetop or in the microwave until it reaches your desired temperature, stirring occasionally.

For longer-term storage, consider freezing your soup. Pour the soup into individual freezer-safe containers or use airtight freezer bags, leaving some room at the top for expansion. Label the containers with the date for reference. In the freezer, your soup should maintain its quality for approximately 2-3 months. To reheat, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat it on the stove or in the microwave.

More Cheesy Vegetable Recipes

a bowl of vegetable chowder next to the pot of soup

Vegetable Chowder Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Course Dinner, Soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Our creamy vegetable chowder is packed with vegetables and cheese, and strikes an ideal balance between nourishment and taste. Brimming with a medley of vegetables, it serves as an excellent choice for a quick weeknight dinner and is delicious as a tasty leftover lunch the following day.

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 64 ounces chicken broth or veggie broth
  • 2 heads broccoli chopped about 5 cups
  • 1 head cauliflower chopped about 5 cups
  • 15 ounces evaporaded milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions

  • Saute the onions. Add olive oil to a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until translucent (about 3-4 minutes). Add garlic. Cook an additional 1 minute. 
  • Steam the broccoli and cauliflower. Add the broccoli and cauliflower to the stockpot. Add 1 cup of chicken broth to the pot. Cover. Steam over medium-high heat for 6-7 minutes. 
  • Add the liquids and spices. To the stockpot, add the rest of the chicken stock, evaporated milk, soy sauce, and pepper. Bring to a low simmer.
  • Thicken the soup. Once the soup is at a low simmer, gently whisk the flour-butter mixture into the soup. Continue to cook for about 3-4 minutes.
  • Puree the soup. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup to your desired consistency. You can use a regular blender or a potato masher to mash the vegetables as well.
  • Add the cheese. Stir the cheese into the soup until completely melted.

Notes

Storage Instructions

Once your soup has cooled down to room temperature, transfer any remaining portion to an airtight container. Ensure that the container is well-sealed to prevent any air from getting in, as exposure to air can cause the soup to deteriorate more quickly.
Place the airtight container in the refrigerator, where the soup can be safely kept for up to 3-4 days. When reheating, simply warm it gently on the stovetop or in the microwave until it reaches your desired temperature, stirring occasionally.
For longer-term storage, consider freezing your soup. Pour the soup into individual freezer-safe containers or use airtight freezer bags, leaving some room at the top for expansion. Label the containers with the date for reference. In the freezer, your soup should maintain its quality for approximately 2-3 months. To reheat, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat it on the stove or in the microwave.

Nutrition

Calories: 342kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 1566mg | Potassium: 964mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1494IU | Vitamin C: 173mg | Calcium: 444mg | Iron: 2mg
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