I have to admit, I was nervous about this loaded vegetable chowder at first. I mean, it is loaded with vegetables after all. It’s even in the name.
I’ve never been a big fan of broccoli. I wouldn’t touch it as a kid, unless it was served raw with some sort of creamy dip. And even, then I would only eat the tops.
This loaded vegetable chowder is chalk full of ingredients I would snub as a child, including the aforementioned broccoli.
It’s broccoli cheddar meets loaded baked potato. It’s rich, it’s creamy and oh so cheesy. It is delicious. Especially when topped with crispy bacon crumbles (bacon does make everything better).
And even though I was full after the first bowl, I still had another of this loaded vegetable chowder because it was just that good.
I rarely can follow a recipe from A to Z, unless it’s for baking which is more science than experiment. This creamy loaded vegetable chowder is loaded with veggies and something a much younger me would have turned her nose up at.
My only complaint is that I didn’t discover this recipe earlier on in soup season. It’s amazing the difference between April and May and we are only mid month. Instead of April showers we had ice storms and heavy snowfall. May has been a treat, minus last weekend’s wind storm. That’s Canada for you.
Even though we don’t tend to eat a lot of soup in the warmer months, I will make an exception for this one. It is that good. It will become a regular supper around here.
And it’s filling. I planned on having a piece of leftover garlic pull apart bread with my soup but I didn’t need it. It was that filling.
Emelia wasn’t too sure about the soup. I served it over crackers (like I do with my Homemade Italian Soup that she loves) which might have been the mistake. She did pick at it for a while, tasting the different pieces, but she was more interested in trying the bacon and shredded cheese topping than the veggies. She was a little more interested the second time around when we stirred the bacon into the soup so she had to dig it out. She managed to shovel a few mouthfuls in before returning her interest to the bread.
We’ll chalk this one up as a work in progress with the toddler and a major win with the grown ups. I might even say this loaded vegetable chowder is this recovering picky eater’s new favourite soup.
Loaded Vegetable Chowder
- 5 1/2 Tbsp. Butter
- 1 C finely diced carrot
- 1 C finely diced celery
- 1 C finely diced onion (I used a yellow cooking onion)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 C chicken broth
- 3 C russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 3 C chopped broccoli (fresh or frozen)
- 4 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 3 C milk (I used homogenized)
- 2 C sharp cheddar cheese + addtional for topping
- 5 slices bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled
- salt and pepper to taste
Melt 1 1/2 Tbsp. of the butter in a heavy pot over med-high heat. Add carrots, celery and onion and saute until just beginning to brown. Add garlic and saute for another 30 seconds.
Add broth and potatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cover. Cook 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Add broccoli and cook until tender, roughly 5 more minutes.
Remove from heat. Blend with an immersion blender leaving some chunks (if you do not have an immersion blender, you can leave the soup to cool for a bit and then give it a couple of swirls in a food processor).
Melt remaining 4 Tbsp. of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook, whisking constantly for 1-2 minutes. While whisking, pour in milk. Cook until the mixture begins to boil and thicken.
Add milk mixture to veggie mixture, stir in cheddar and mix until melted.
Top with crispy bacon and additional cheddar.