Winter Vegetable Chowder
A winning mix of winter veggies and herbs make up this hearty vegetarian chowder.
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 large bulb fennel, quartered and thinly sliced
- 1 pound butternut squash, chopped into 1/2-inch dice
- 2-3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 large parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 leeks, halved and thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 large fresh bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons each thyme, parsley and rosemary, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 3 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- Salt and pepper
- Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
- Oyster crackers, for serving
- Heat the EVOO in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the fennel, squash, carrots, parsnips, onion, leeks, garlic and the fresh and dried herbs. Cook, partially covered and stirring occasionally, to soften, 8-10 minutes. Add the stock and simmer while you make the white sauce.
- In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the milk and simmer to thicken. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Once thickened, combine the sauce with the soup and keep warm over low heat until ready to serve. Top each bowl with oyster crackers.