Cheesy Vegetable and Corn Chowder
Yields: 10 cups
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Preparation time: 15 minutes
3-1/2 cups chicken broth
8 celery ribs, sliced
4 carrots, sliced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups frozen whole kernel corn (I always use 2 cans creamed style)
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 or 2 tablespoons French's mustard
Season to taste
Garnish: chopped fresh parsley
Bring first 6 ingredients to a boil in a Dutch oven. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and stir in corn.
Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Add flour, whisking until smooth. Cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, whisking continuously until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Add cheese, stirring until blended. Add the mustard and stir until blended.
Stir cheese mixture gradually into vegetable mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thoroughly heated.
Garnish with a sprig of parsley if you have any fresh. We have also used sprigs of fresh Cilantro and fresh Italian Basil at other times. Serve immediately.
You can lighten this recipe up by using lower fat ingredients. I more often than not make it with 2% low-fat milk and it tastes rich and creamy, though I do opt for regular cheddar cheese.
I usually make a double batch so that we can enjoy it for a few days (it only gets better), adding more potatoes, carrots, celery and onions. I top it with a good dash of black ground pepper, but also use the fresh herbs mentioned above.
Enjoy it with a nice crusty bread, a green salad. You can also eat it on its own. It is a very hardy soup and a meal in one.