Potato Chipotle Chowder

This is my guess-timated version of a soup I had at the Globe Market in Buffalo, New York last year.  It was so tasty that I made a fool of myself by sticking my finger in the bowl to lick it clean.  That’s when my dining companions noted that maybe I should try to make it at home, because they’d be too embarrassed to be seen there with me again.

The original soup had cheddar cheese in it, which made it mighty fine.  However, since me and dairy don’t play well together, I’ve omitted it from my recipe–feel free to grate some in before you serve it.  However, I assure you that the soup tastes just as good without the cheese (in fact, I think I prefer it without cheese, taste-wise).

So, to get your soup on, you’ll need:

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds potato, scrubbed clean (I use generic brown potatoes that you get here in Trinidad; I would think any potato except for baking-only potato types will do)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (about 1 1/2 cup onion)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped (optional, but since you can’t taste it so may as well add it for nutrition)
  • 6 cloves garlic (or more–I use an entire head), minced (if you’re patient) or roughly chopped (if you aren’t)
  • Oregano (if fresh, a good few twigs; if dry, about 1/2 tsp or to taste)
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce (about 1 tablespoon, but feel free to use more if you want a hotter soup; I use whichever brand I can find in the Hispanic foods aisle)
  • 2 quarts water (to start-you may need more)
  • 3-4 stock cubes (or replace half the water with packaged vegetable stock, low sodium if possible)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt/pepper/adobo to taste
  • Lemon/lime to taste

In a large soup pot, saute the onions and garlic together over medium heat until they are translucent.  Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes, checking to be sure there’s enough water to cover the potatoes by about an inch and a half.

Let it cool enough for you to handle safely it, then puree (either in batches using a blender or with an immersion blender, right in the pot).  When you are ready to eat, reheat it gently and serve with lemon or lime wedges for sprinkling.

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