This is a hearty vegetarian chowder which could easily be the main course for lunch or supper.
• Measuring cup, measuring spoons
• Cutting board & paring knife
• Small & medium bowls
• Can opener
• Cheese grater
• Large soup pot
• Wooden spoon
• Immersion blender or potato masher
• 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
• 2 large onions, diced
• 2 ribs celery, with leaves, chopped
• 1 medium carrot, diced
• 1 red pepper, diced
• 2 Tbs all-purpose flour (we used sweet rice flour, to be gluten-free)
• 5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or stock
• 3 – 4 cups water (start with 3 and add more if you need it)
• 2 large potatoes, scrubbed but unpeeled and cubed
• 1 large sweet potato, scrubbed but unpeeled and cubed
• 2 ½ tsp dry mustard
• 1 tsp dried marjoram
• 2 tsp minced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (remove seeds before chopping, if you want less heat)
• 3 cups corn kernels, frozen or fresh
• ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar
• 1 can (4 oz / 127 ml) chopped green chilies, drained
• Salt & freshly-ground pepper to taste
• Chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)
1. Prepare all the vegetables and put them in individual bowls, ready to add to the soup. Grate the cheese. Open and drain the green chilies.
2. In a large soup pot, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots and bell pepper, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft, about 5-8 minutes.
3. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, until well mixed in. Gradually stir in the stock and the water, stirring constantly, and bring to a boil. Keep stirring until slightly thickened and smooth.
4. Add the potatoes, sweet potato, mustard, marjoram, and chipotles. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Stir in the corn and cook a few minutes longer until the potatoes are tender.
6. To thicken the soup, either use an immersion blender to puree just some of the soup, OR take a potato masher and mash some of the vegetables until the soup is as thick as you like it.
7. Add the chopped green chilies and the grated cheese. Taste and season with salt and freshly-ground pepper. Stir and heat slowly, but do not let the soup boil after the cheese has been added. Serve, garnished with a little chopped cilantro, if you like it.
Adapted from: Low-fat One-dish Meals from around the World, by Jane M. Dieckmann (1993)