This is the most decadent and creamy potato chowder ever! I’ve been searching for something like this since I attended the Disney Social Media Mom’s event in February. We had the most amazing soup there and I’ve been on a mission to replicate it. So far, this is the closest thing to it and it’s so rich and delicious that it’s worth the calories.
It’s a take on clam chowder, but being a vegetarian, I wanted a recipe I could enjoy. I based it on the Clam Chowder recipe from Don’t Panic–More Dinner’s in the Freezer: A Second Helping of Tasty Meals You Can Make Ahead. This is the second book from these authors. The first book, Don’t Panic – Dinner’s in the Freezer: Great-Tasting Meals You Can Make Ahead is one I use over and over.
This is such a great basic soup that you can add to it to change it up. Add frozen corn or peas just before bagging, or substitute green onions for the regular onions. Serve with a salad and crusty rolls and you’ve got an amazing dinner right out of your freezer. The soup is best if you allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight instead of trying to defrost and reheat in the microwave.
One thing I would do differently is to chop the celery finer. I sliced mine and they were too large. Stick with butter for amazing taste. If you want low cal, substitute vegetable broth and milk for the half and half, but that’s a totally different soup. Oh, and the cute boy stirring the pot? That’s my adorable oldest son who stopped by after work.
The photos show a small batch (6 servings) that I used to trial the recipe. I learned my lesson the hard way about making huge batches of a recipe before we’ve tasted it. It’s expensive to throw away 36 servings!
- 6 c celery, diced (approximately 36 stalks)
- 6 onions, diced (approximately 12 cups)
- 15 c Yukon Gold potatoes, diced (approximately 6 lbs)
- 6 c water
- 4-1/2 c butter
- 4-1/2 c all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 gallons half-and-half
- ¼ c dried parsley (or ½ cup fresh, chopped)
- ¼ c salt
- ¾ t pepper
- Optional: Frozen corn or peas (6 cups total)
- In a large pan, add celery, onions, potatoes and water. Add additional water if necessary to cover the vegetables. Simmer the vegetables until tender (time depends on the size of your pan and the temp you've set it at - check after 20 minutes and then every 5 minutes after that to avoid overcooking).
- In a separate pan, melt the butter. Once melted, add the flour (to which you've added the salt and pepper) and stir until incorporated (you're making a rue). Set the timer for 2 minutes and stir the rue over low heat to "cook" the flour. Skipping this step or doing it less than 2 minutes can result in a floury taste. Don't brown the rue.
- When the 2 minutes is up, SLOWLY add the half-and-half, stirring to incorporate it fully before adding more. This will mean lump free soup. Meanwhile, drain and reserve liquid from vegetables. Carefully add the vegetables to the half-and-half. Add parsley. If necessary, add some of the reserved vegetable liquid to thin the soup (I preferred it without - it's thick and creamy and delicious).
- Cool. Just before storing, add optional frozen corn or peas. Use freezer bag method to store. To serve, thaw completely in the refrigerator and heat on stove until warmed through. I store these in individual servings so we thaw and microwave.
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