Wednesday: 1950s Potato Chowder

Here’s my inspiration (this time found at
1000 Pizza Doughs
), as well as my personal editing (I’m taking out these parts of the published recipe, and adding in these parts), based on what I actually have on hand:

As the nights begin to get cooler, I start craving soup.  Have a lot of CSA potatoes, so I decided to make this recipe I modified from a 1957 House & Garden recipe I found online several years ago. This is also about the time of year I start craving things with lots of cream, cheese and/or butter, so this is not the healthiest of my CSA recipes.  But it’s darn tasty. 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups boiling chicken stock (may need another 1/2 cup to make sure potatoes are covered)
  • 2 strips bacon
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cups raw potatoes, peeled and diced (Yukon golds work well)
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 bunch fresh dill, chopped (optional – do NOT use dried dill, unless you are pregnant and craving pickle soup)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole or 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 to 3 whole garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat chicken stock to boiling in a small pot.  Fry bacon in a large soup pot over medium heat until crisp.  Remove and set aside.  Add onion to bacon grease and saute over medium heat until translucent, about 8 minutes.  Add potatoes, carrots, chicken stock, bay leaf and salt.  Cover and cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes (longer if you have large potato cubes).
  2. Meanwhile, in a separate smaller pot, mix milk and cream together, and add the garlic cloves and whole rosemary sprig, if using.  Heat through over low heat, taking care not to boil the milk.  Strain out the garlic and rosemary, and blend flour with 1/4 cup of the milk mixture, stirring vigorously to avoid lumps.
  3. Add the 1/4 cup milk/flour mixture to soup pot, stirring constantly for about 1 minute to keep lumps from forming.  Add the remaining milk, and stir thoroughly until well-combined. (This step is when you will see the magic. “Oh, it is chowder!”)  Add white pepper, paprika, cayenne, parsley, fresh dill and parsley (or other fresh herbs) to soup pot.  Reduce heat to low, and heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes, stirring every couple minutes to prevent scorching.  If the soup starts to develop a skin on top, just stir and it will go away.  Remove bay leaf, and serve soup immediately, topped with crumbled bacon.
  4. Serves 4 in generous portions.

The Verdict:

We loved this recipe.  I mean, how could you go wrong with bacon and potatoes and milk and cream?  Really, there’s no bad here.  I mean, as long as you’re not worried about your cholesterol (yet).  I may have actually used 4 pieces of bacon (everything’s better with bacon – even bacon), and I may have eaten one of those pieces of bacon when it was warm and crisp and before my husband was home from work.  I mean, it’s possible.  I highly recommend this to anyone that is even remotely interested in potato chowder – many stars!

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