In honor of the change in weather, I broke out one of my favorite soup recipes, Wild Rice and Ham Chowder. I found it many years ago in one of those mini Pillsbury recipe books you see at the grocery checkout. It is hearty and satisfying on a cozy night.
I have been obsessed lately with these chicken sausages I found at Costco and decided to try them instead of ham. They are so good!
Break for a random ode to Costco. I love Costco. It is one of my favorite places to go. As soon as I walk in the door, I get that happy feeling that only buying in bulk can bring. I could go on and on, and in future posts I will rave much more, but for now, back to the sausage.
I usually find sausage to be a rather scary food. Somehow, the ingredient list for these seems to be pretty harmless. Chicken, Gouda and apples. And a few spices. No body parts that shouldn't be in food. Unless you count the casing, and yes, I did just google sausage casing and I will spare you the details. Lets just not think about that.
Wild Rice and Ham Chowder
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup wild rice
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic - I skipped this
1/4 cup butter
4 cups water
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1 1/2 cups peeled, diced potatoes
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg - skipped
1/8 tsp ground pepper
1 bay leaf - a must have for this recipe
1-15oz can corn
2 cups half and half or milk - go for the half and half!
1 pound cubed, cooked ham - I used the cooked, sliced sausage
Parsley for garnish
In a small saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups water and the rice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer 35 to 40 minutes. I ended up using only about half the rice, since some members of my family are suspicious of black foods, and it is a rather large amount of rice.
In your soup pot, cook onion and garlic in butter until crisp-tender. Add the flour, and cook and stir for a minute or so. Gradually stir in 4 cups of water and bouillon. Add potatoes and carrots, thyme, nutmeg, pepper and bay leaf. Simmer until potatoes and carrots are tender, anywhere from 15-25 minutes. Because you have already thickened the soup with the flour, it will want to stick to the bottom of your pan, so I stir it frequently. When the vegetables are done, stir in the corn, half and half and ham or sausage. Heat through but don't boil. Garnish with parsley. I usually skip the garnish, but I rescued a handful of parsley from the garden and it does make it pretty.
We had the soup with Costco's Asiago Cheese Sourdough Bread. Toasted and buttered. Perfection.
Ha! I just looked out the window and it's snowing. Bring it on, Winter. My soup and I are ready!