Sometimes when you are planning a potluck, a co-worker will say, "I'll bring a tray of sandwiches, who's going to bring the soup?" Well, I have such a deal for you! This Spicy Cheesy Veggie Chowder recipe makes a Dutch oven full of delicious soup. It's a food that fits well with a vegetarian diet, but even the most dedicated carnivore will appreciate its robust flavor and textures.
You might think that such wonderful chowder would be difficult to make. Not so! This is a recipe made from ingredients that lend themselves to simplicity. The only major investment of time is in the chopping. That took a while, but if I had used my trusty KitchenAid food processor, it would have been easier. The vegetables need to be chopped to about the size of a black bean. I don't usually ask readers to pay attention to the size of the chop, but in this case, it does make a difference. The soup cooks quickly and a spoon load of soup contains all of the flavorful veggie tastes and textures at one time. The vegetables are stir fried to give them a slight crispness. After simmering the veggies, it's all "pour and stir." Simple, or easy-cheesy.
The cheese and some of the spicing comes from Que Bueno Nacho Cheese. I bought mine at Costco in a huge can. It weighs in at slightly more than six pounds. If you don't shop at Costco, or have the Nestle Que Bueno available, you can use your favorite nacho cheese. Just make sure that cheese is the first ingredient listed. You don't want a cheese sauce that is made with water or oil as the first ingredient. The jalapeno pepper in the cheese sauce is part of the spicing. The rest comes from the addition of Jack's Special Salsa. As you might guess, this soup is good with Southwestern or Mexican food.
Spicy Cheesy Veggie Chowder Recipe
All vegetables need to be chopped to the size of a black bean.
2 cups chopped Yukon gold potatoes
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped sweet peppers (I used small orange ones.)
3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
¼ cup canola oil
2 cups water or vegetable broth
4 cups Que Bueno Nacho Cheese Sauce
1 can Green Giant Creamed Corn
2 cans of Green Giant Whole Kernel Corn (Drain one can and reserve the liquid from the other.)
2 cups Jack's Special Salsa
2 cans Kuner Black Beans (Drain the beans in a colander and rinse them.)
½ teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
¾ teaspoon balsamic vinegar (I use Aceto brand.)
1 cup evaporated milk
Pepper, to taste
In a heavy Dutch oven, pour the oil in and heat it until it is sizzling hot, then stir in the potatoes and onions. Sautee them for 2 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, peppers, and garlic. Sautee for 3 more minutes. Pour 2 cups of water and the liquid from one can of corn kernels into the sautéed vegetables. Then, stir them around, scraping the bottom of the pan with the spatula. Turn the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil. This takes about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer the vegetables briskly for 5-10 minutes. I used the shorter time, since the soup was going to be re-heated in a crock pot.
After simmering the vegetables, add the nacho cheese sauce and stir it into the vegetables. Add the creamed corn and stir. Add both cans of corn kernels and stir again. Pour in the Jack's Special Salsa, seasoning salt, and balsamic vinegar. Stir until it is combined with the other ingredients. Pour the evaporated milk into the chowder and stir. Finally, gently incorporate the black beans and black pepper, if desired. Heat the chowder on low until it is heated through.
This chowder has just the right spicy kick! Enjoy it with all of your sandwich choices. Let us know what you paired it with. Send your comments to the BellaOnline Sandwiches Forum. I look forward to hearing from you!
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