October 8, 2009

soup's on

Well, much like we always seem to skip spring here in Montana, it seems we may be skipping fall this year as well. The weather has been absolutely beautiful. Only a few trees have started to get their fall color, and everything is green and beautiful. That will all change starting tonight. A low of 18 degrees is predicted. By the weekend, our lows will be in the single digits.

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!


  1. I was just reading all of your bolg (wonderful pictures, by the way) and came upon your recipe....
    what startled me, was the Asiago cheese. It probably doesn't come all the way from Italy... but if it does, I live nearby...
    best wishes from Italy

  2. OMG! I just made the soup and it is wonderful! When I read about the sausages I made a beeline for Costco last night. LOL!

    I skipped the rice and used chicken broth plus a little bouillon. I also added a stalk of celery.

    Thanks! :)


  3. Oh that toast looks good! I too love Costco. I've tried that sausage and it is great. I'll have to get it again and try your recipe and the toast of coarse.
    Thanks for the recipe.

  4. I've combed your gorgeous blog over this morning (thanks to finding you from Blissfully Content...)and found this recipe that looks divine! I WILL buy that sausage when I go back to Costco. I get a happy feeling there too and loooove it so, so much! (Although not as much when the three little ones are running about the isles towards the end...) I've also bookmarked a few other recipes that look divine! Thank you! I will be back to visit... Such a delightful blog and farm you have! Blessings, Kate

  5. WOW, an amazing recipe and one I will have to try. Your photos make me drool...

    I love Costco too. We love the frozen organic veggies by "Bybee", I hope you will try some of those.