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Vegetable Chowder A Real Family Winner

One of life’s great pleasures for any cook is having a new recipe in hand.

Results are only imaginable, yet highly anticipated. The quest is to artfully combine enticing ingredients into a delightful new entree.

And always, there is the eternal question: will it look anything like the picture in the cookbook?

The urge to try a new soup descended upon me and became the focus for a February day menu. One of three choices, selected from a variety of cookbooks, would surely be a winner.

The first soup was acceptable, but not distinct enough in flavor to warrant consideration.

The second, a spinach soup, was a tableside fiasco. Resistance was loudly heard: “I won’t eat that!” Down the garbage disposal it went.

Soup Number Three came away the winner. What a relief! The pile of dishes in the kitchen was already a mountain.

The tasters, my three girls, ate all the vegetables in the soup, politely declining the “chowder” part. A handful of corn chips sprinkled on top made it more appealing.

Applause also came from my husband, who missed the first two soups but enjoyed the winner of the informal competition.

Easy Vegetable Chowder uses instant mashed potatoes and evaporated skimmed milk. Add any variety of frozen vegetables you have on hand.

Heat up an herbed loaf of focaccia, slice a pre-cored chunk of fresh pineapple and open a box of carrot cake.

Fill the tummy with warmth and goodness and dream of your next pot of soup.

Easy Vegetable Chowder

Adapted from “Eat Light” (HPBooks)

2 (14-1/2-ounce) cans low-sodium chicken broth

Pinch of dried leaf thyme

2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, such as green beans, corn and green or red bell peppers

1 1/3 cups instant mashed potato flakes

2 cups evaporated skimmed milk, warmed


Black pepper

1 tablespoon crushed corn chips

In a medium saucepan, combine broth and thyme; bring to a boil.

Add vegetables; cover and simmer 5-10 minutes.

Stirring constantly, slowly sprinkle potato flakes over vegetable mixture. Stir in evaporated milk; season with salt and pepper. Continue to simmer only until heated through.

Do not let chowder boil. Ladle into soup bowls. Top each serving with 1/4 of corn chips. Serve hot.

Yield: 6 (1-cup) servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 174 calories, 5 grams fat (26 percent fat calories), 9 grams protein, 24 grams carbohydrate, 2 milligrams cholesterol.


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