Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Chicken Bell Pepper Chowder

I think I'm a sucker for creamy vegetable soups. I love potato soup, cream of broccoli soup, corn chowder, ham chowder, clam chowder. Pretty much all the chowders. ;) So, when I saw this recipe (on The Frosted Cupcake that you introduced us to, Mandy! Thanks!), I knew I had to try it.

The recipe is HUGE, and I knew I didn't have a pot big enough to hold it all, so I halved it. I'll post the halved recipe here, but if you want the original amounts, you can find them at The Frosted Cupcake: Chicken Bell Pepper Chowder. For numbers that didn't divide evenly, I rounded up because I love a hearty soup with lots of vegetables in it. It has a lot of ingredients, but it's still easy to make.

Chicken Bell Pepper Chowder
1/8 c. olive oil
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 sweet onion, diced
3 stalks celery, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, diced (the original recipe says to cut them into slices, but I didn't think I would like big strips of bell peppers in my soup)
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper (the original recipe called for white pepper, but I don't have any of that)
1/4 t. cumin
1/8 t. dried thyme
1/2 T. chicken bouillon granules
2 cans chicken broth
1/8 c. chopped cilantro
1 1/2 c. diced grilled chicken (I just cooked mine in a pan on the stove)
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. flour
1/4 t. hot sauce, or more to taste (I don't have any hot sauce, so I used a dash of cayenne pepper)
1/2 c. heavy cream

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add carrots, onions, celery, garlic, bell peppers, salt, pepper, cumin, and thyme. Saute for 7-8 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Stir in the chicken bouillon granules. Add chicken broth and cilantro, and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. (Meanwhile, cook your chicken.) Stir in the chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is heated through. In the mean time, melt the butter in a skillet. Add the flour and stir and cook for a few minutes, but do not let it brown. Ladle one scoop of the soup mixture into the flour mixture and whisk to combine. Gradually add two more ladles full of soup. Add the flour/soup mixture back into the pot with the rest of the soup and stir to combine. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until soup thickens. Remove from heat and add cream and hot sauce (or cayenne pepper ;) ). Serve with bread! :)

Paul and I really enjoyed this soup, and I will definitely make it again sometime soon. It had a very good flavor, and I loved all the vegetables. I think I sliced my carrots a bit too big (they took quite a while to cook), so I'll probably make them smaller next time. But that's really all I would change!

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