Three Onion Chowder with Parsleyed Oyster Crackers

April 23, 2013
Three Onion Chowder with Parsleyed Oyster Crackers - Featured

2013 will forever be remembered ..

As the year of the soup

Three Onion Chowder with Parsleyed Oyster Crackers - A terribly tasty onion chowder made just a bit healthier. Perfect for swapping, sharing with a friend, or pulling out of the freezer on a weeknight.

Not only is it wonderful for swapping .. but lends itself nicely when friends & family get sick .. or you Mom gets wire braces & can't chew .. or you just need something to pull out of the freezer on a random Monday night

In need of inspiration I turned to turned to Food 52 .. They have so many fun recipe contests and their Best Onion & Garlic Soups didn't disappoint.

Chowder? Conceptually perfect .. a great base from which to add

Loaded with all the cream & fat? Not so much.

Three Onion Chowder with Parsleyed Oyster Crackers - A terribly tasty onion chowder made just a bit healthier. Perfect for swapping, sharing with a friend, or pulling out of the freezer on a weeknight.

True to the healthy swap philosophy .. half & half was replaced with equal parts condensed skim and 2% milk. Was the creamy texture what it could have been? Probably not .. but I didn't miss a thing

There are lots & lots of fun addition ideas online. Those that stood out added shrimp or other varieties of fish. Yum, great protein! I imagine other veggies, like butternut squash, would work as well.

Oh .. and I learned a cool tip about chowder making .. It's best made by assembling all of its parts & pieces, bringing it to a boil, covering the pot and letting it sit 30 minutes. Who knew?

Worked beautifully for me.

Three Onion Chowder with Parsleyed Oyster Crackers - A terribly tasty onion chowder made just a bit healthier. Perfect for swapping, sharing with a friend, or pulling out of the freezer on a weeknight.

Everyone who's had a taste of two of this one has asked for more .. It's terribly, terribly good.

Enjoy!

xoxo

Three Onion Chowder with Parsleyed Oyster Crackers - A terribly tasty onion chowder made just a bit healthier. Perfect for swapping, sharing with a friend, or pulling out of the freezer on a weeknight.

ps .. A few side notes about cost (since we're featuring low-cost recipes this week) .. There are a number of ways to keep this soup in the budget category. My total cost was right around $20 and made enough to easily serve 8. 

Buy spices from a store like Wheatsfield where you are able to buy as much or as little as you need. (substituting for fresh, unless you happen to already have some on hand).

A few strips of bacon will do the trick instead of pancetta.

Condensed and/or regular milk are often cheaper alternatives to half and half or cream

Instead of chicken stock in a can or container, instead buy the small condensed packages that are easily dissolved in boiling water

While the recipe didn't call for a protein source .. there are a number of inexpensive ways to add some type of fish, for example, without breaking the bank

pps .. I'd love to know what your substitutions and/or modifications  for half and half or heavy cream in a recipe are. Does it really effect the texture and taste as much as I read? Do you care? 

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~ Adapted from Food52

Three Onion Chowder with Parsleyed Oyster Crackers

Ingredients

  • FOR THE SOUP
  • 3 strips bacon 1/4 inch dice (original called for 3 ounces pancetta)
  • 2 cups yellow onion peeled and julienned
  • 2 leeks rinsed, white parts only, sliced into half moons
  • 4 shallots peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup celery 1/4 inch dice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon fresh garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup condensed skim milk
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 3 russet potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2 dice
  • 1 tablespoon Italian parsley minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives chopped
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • FOR THE PARSLEYED OYSTER CRACKERS
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup oyster crackers
  • 1 tablespoon Italian parsley minced
  • Fine sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Instructions

  • FOR THE SOUP
  • In a 3 quart Dutch oven or sauce pan add the butter and pancetta and place it over medium heat to render the pancetta.
  • Once some of the fat has been released add the onions, shallot and celery. Saute until they are just becoming golden. You don’t want them to brown too much or the soup will be brown.
  • Add the leeks, garlic and thyme. Cook until the leeks are just becoming soft.
  • Add the bay leaf and chicken stock.
  • Bring it to a boil and add the half and half and the potatoes.
  • Bring the soup back to a boil and then immediately turn off the heat and cover the pot. Allow it to rest for at least thirty minutes.
  • To finish the soup reheat it but don’t let it boil. Taste a potato to check and see if it is done and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  • If the potatoes are not done then cook over low heat for 15 minutes.
  • FOR THE PARSLEYED OYSTER CRACKERS
  • Heat a small saute pan over medium high heat.
  • Add the butter and once it has stopped bubbling but is not brown, add the oyster crackers and toss the crackers to coat with the butter.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Stir in the parsley and toss the crackers gently in order to coat all the crackers with the parsley. Pour out onto a baking sheet and let cool
Serves:
Nutrition + Show
Rating:
Calories 353
Total Fat 8.77g
Carbohydrates 56.37g
Fiber 4.64g
Sugars 7.19g
Protein 10.16g
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