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Chow down, warm up with chowder

by Minden Press-Herald

Today I am viewing the beautiful snowy wonderland from the window of my cozy warm house, sipping on Hot Raspberry Scripture Tea and munching Glazed Animal Cookies. The scene is like a Colorado picture postcard.

I have not even left the house to pick up the newspaper or mail. I did briefly brave it off the patio to scoop up a bowl of snow and made a bowl of snow ice cream; a rare treat in this part of the country.

I have not left the house since leaving church Sunday morning and the pantry is beginning to look a bit bare.

I like having soup when it is cold weather. I have often make Corn Chowder but came across this recipe for Cauliflower Chowder. Except for the milk, most of the ingredients are staples in my kitchen. Since I do not keep milk in my house, I would substitute canned evaporated milk.

The only ingredient I then would have to purchase would be the cauliflower. I think this recipe will be a KEEPER; I plan to try it soon.

4 slices bacon, diced
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled & diced
2 sticks celery, diced
¼ cup all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup 2 percent milk (I would substitute canned evaporated milk)
1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.

Melt butter in a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium-heat.

Add garlic, onion, carrots and celery.

Cook stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes.

Whisk in flour and stir until lightly browned, about 1 minute.

Gradually whisk in chicken broth and milk and cook, whisking constantly until slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes. Add cauliflower and bay leaf.

Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 12-15 minutes; season with salt & pepper to taste. If the chowder is too thick, add more milk as needed until desired consistency is reached.

Serve immediately; garnished with bacon and parsley, if desired.

*Taken from the internet.

I am off to the kitchen to bake a pan of cornbread and heat a can of Progresso Vegetable soup.

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