Crockpot Winter Vegetable Chowder

Few things I love more than a good hearty soup on a cold day.  Soup is a miracle food.  For me it’s something I could eat every day no matter what, as there are endless creations and combinations.  Now that it’s November it is prime soup season!  So for the first frigidly cold day in NYC, I knew I wanted to experiment with winter vegetables and seasonal flavors to create a comforting soup that I could slurp away at while snuggled under blankets and watching football.  This chowder turned out to be phenomenal; the seasonal spices of sage, nutmeg, and thyme amplified the hearty winter vegetables and created a creamy, satisfying meal.

I’m getting in the holiday spirit a little early this year.  I used to be adamantly against celebrating Christmas before Thanksgiving, but for some reason this year I started singing Christmas songs the day after Halloween!  Something about Christmas in New York gets me more excited for the holiday than it used to, and being engaged now makes everything feel all cutesie and special.

Anyways, nothing gets me more pumped for a new season than cooking!  Especially fall and winter cooking because it’s so festive and decadent!  I’ve been watching Food Network like crazy because I just can’t get enough of the endless Thanksgiving and holiday meals and I cannot wait until I can eat them all!

I’ve been seeing a lot on winter vegetables and I realized that I hardly ever cook with them.  I was craving a good home cooked soup for dinner tonight because I had literally been freezing all day and wanted to warm up and get cozy.  So I decided to pick up some veggies and experiment with them to make a chowder!

I’m very pleasantly surprised with how the chowder turned out.  It was actually downright delicious.  I used rutabaga, parsnips, butternut squash, and potatoes, and simmered them all together with sage, thyme, and nutmeg.  The spices were on point.  At first I didn’t add any nutmeg but after tasting the soup I realized it was missing something.  After the addition of the nutmeg it really brought out the natural sweetness of the butternut squash and enhanced the sage.  I also like to think that the soup is relatively healthy, because it’s all nutrient-dense veggies and I used 2% milk instead of cream or half-and-half.

I decided to use my slow cooker and throw everything together after work so it would be ready when I got home from the gym, but if you don’t have one or want it to cook faster than you can use the stove.  But a part of me loves using my crockpot in the winter because it feels so seasonal 🙂  If you want to have it ready when you come home from work you can set your crockpot on low throughout the day and it will be ready when you get home!

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Crockpot Winter Vegetable Chowder (serves 8)

  • 1/2 a large butternut squash, rind peeled off and flesh diced into 1″ cubes
  • 1 rutabaga, peeled and diced into 1′ cubes
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and thinly chopped
  • 2 red skin potatoes, diced into 1″ cubes
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 cups 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn

Directions:

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, garlic, celery, carrot, and parsnip.  Sauté until vegetables are sweating and slightly translucent.  Add the salt, pepper, and thyme and continue sautéing for another minute.  Add the flour to the vegetables and mix until completely combined, then add the sage.  At this point, transfer the whole mixture to your crockpot.  Add the broth and mix well.  Add in the rutabaga, squash, potatoes, milk, and nutmeg, and cook on high for 3-4 hours.  Five minutes before serving, add in the parsley and corn.  You can garnish with cheese, scallions, or eat as-is!

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