Kielbasa, Corn and Potato Chowder

Kielbasa, corn and potato chowder

Potatoes are one of those vegetables that we keep a box of in our basement. Along with the butternut squash and sweet potatoes, the garlic and the onions, we save what we grow in our garden and when those run out, we buy in bulk from our farmers markets. So when the darkest days of winter arrive, finding warming ways to turn those root vegetables into dinner becomes a must. This recipe is an adaptation of one of my favorite soups as a kid. That version featured potatoes, corn and hot dog slices. In this one, I’m stirring in kielbasa as my meat and adding a few more veggies to make it a more nutritious meal. Think clam chowder, but without the clams.  I’m happy to report it was a hit in our house. Hopefully it will find a place on your table as well.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium green pepper, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt, more to taste (I use a whole teaspoon as my homemade broth has much less salt than most store-bought versions)
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 3/4 tsp. paprika
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth (use homemade if you’ve got it)
  • 2 Tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour (or a gluten-free flour such as brown rice or almond)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 12 oz. package of kielbasa, sliced into rounds. I was able to find a hormone- and nitrate-free version in my grocery store
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley or green onion tops, minced

Instructions

  1. Heat butter in a cast-iron Dutch oven or other soup pot, over medium high heat. Add onions, green pepper, carrots, celery and garlic. Stir and cook for 2 minutes or so, then add potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, seasoning with salt, pepper, cayenne and paprika.
  2. Pour in the broth and bring it to a gentle boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes start to get tender. Whisk together the flour and the milk in a separate bowl, then pour into the soup.
  3. Add corn and the kielbasa. Stir together and allow the soup to cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Taste and make seasoning adjustments. Stir in cream. Heat for just a minute longer.
  5. Serve in bowls, garnished with parsley and/or green onions.

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