This past week has been a whirlwind of intense year-end work while also having social engagements almost every night. It’s been great and it’s been ridiculously exhausting. It is really one of those situations where you want to complain but then realize it’s not a bad life at all and overall I am quite lucky with a good job and a fun social life, especially in December. I am just getting older and where I used to be excited about going out every night in my 20 and 30s, I now get overly excited about a night in and on Friday this was going to happen!
Blue Apron was on my doorstep waiting for me. I am now doing this about once a month and am a huge fan of their recipes and for the ideas they leave with me long after I have made the dish. I have posted many of these inspiring dish photos on my Instagram page.
As I have said before, Blue Apron is not for those who want a readymade meal in a box, but more for those who really like to cook. What you are paying for are the perfectly portioned ingredients so there is no waste and you are not running out to the grocery store for that one random ingredient you forgot to buy.
I was so excited to get home Friday evening and after I looked at the three recipes in the box I absolutely knew it had to be the Potato Chowder. Friday was freezing and soup was the answer.
I love making soups and this one was up there with one of the best ones I have ever made. Paired with cheese toasts, a glass of Pinot Gris and a teary episode of This is Us; I could not have had a more content Friday evening.
- 1 Small Baguette
- ¾ Cup Milk
- 2 Stalks Celery
- 2 Russet Potatoes
- 1 Carrot
- 1 Yellow Onion
- 1 Bunch Chives
- 2 Ounces Cheddar Cheese
- 2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Tablespoon Chowder Spice Blend (Mustard Powder, Onion Powder, Sweet Paprika, Garlic Powder, Cayenne Pepper, Smoked Paprika & Dried Parsley Flakes)
- Preheat the oven to 475°F. Halve the baguette. Peel the carrot; cut in half lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Small dice the celery. Peel and medium dice the potatoes. Peel and small dice the onion. Small dice the cheese. Thinly slice the chives.
- In a large pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the carrot, celery, potatoes and onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 7 to 9 minutes, or until slightly softened.
- While the vegetables cook, in a small pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the flour and half the spice blend. Cook, whisking frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Slowly whisk in the milk; cook, whisking frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Add the cheese and cook, whisking frequently, 1 to 3 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the heat.
- To the pot of vegetables, add the remaining spice blend. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add 3 ½ cups of water; season with salt and pepper. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, 15 to 17 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Blue Apron calls for you to mash the potato on the sides of the pot with a spoon; however, I poured the soup into a blender to a just slightly mealy consistency and poured the mixture back into the soup pot.
- While the chowder cooks, place the baguette on a sheet pan, cut sides up. Spread ⅔ of the cheese sauce onto the cut sides of the baguette. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese and baguette are browned around the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside in a warm place.
- Add the remaining cheese sauce to the pot of chowder. Cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until thoroughly combined and heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the finished chowder between 2 bowls. Garnish with the chives a drizzle of olive oil; season with pepper. Transfer the cheese toasts to a cutting board; cut in half on an angle. Serve the chowder with the cheese toasts.