Sunday, January 13, 2013

Santa Fe Chowder

Quite some time ago I mentioned my favorite fall soup, Santa Fe chowder.  This soup is originally from the Moosewood Restaurant Cooks for a Crowd
 I learned to make it when I was the director at the Episcopal camp in Santa Fe while searching for ways to serve a large crowd.  Funny to find a recipe from an Ithaca, New York restaurant that that so accurately reflects the culture of the Southwest.  Because this is a vegetarian recipe, you can serve all of your friends something wonderful without making your vegetarian friends feel you needed to make something just for them.

Now I make it and freeze portions of it to serve later or to take to friends experiencing illness or a family crisis.  

Fair warning...there is a lot of chopping to do for this one.  Where are my prep chefs when I need them?  (All three daughters with busy lives of their own!)  

Before Christmas I hosted the St. Mark' annual Greens Gathering Party at my house and made this so it reminded me to share the recipe with you.  This recipe calls for cumin, a popular ingredient in Southwest cooking.  Everything else is probably already in your cabinets or refrigerator, except for the fresh jalapeno peppers.  I imagine some of you on the East Coast may need to substitute canned green chile...but maybe not with the widespread interest in ethnic cooking.

I am printing the original recipe which serves a whole lot of folks because if you are going to purchase and chop that many ingredients, why not make a lot?

Moosewood Santa Fe Chowder

2 tablespoons minced jalapeno peppers
1 cup chopped onions
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
5cups of sweet and white potatoes (we had a mix this week, but if you only choose one, choose sweet)
3 cups water
2 cup sweet green peppers
1 16 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup yellow squash
2 ounces cream cheese
1 cup milk
salt to taste
chopped cilantro
cheddar cheese

Saute jalapenos and onions in oil in soup pot for about 10 minutes - until onions are translucent. Add spices and saute a minute more.
Add the potatoes, pepper, and water and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer covered for about 15 minutes.
Add tomatoes, corn, and squash. Bring to a boil again and then simmer for about 5 minutes.
Remove about 3 cups of the soup from the pot and combine with cold milk and room temperature cream cheese. Pour into a blender (the milk will lower the soup temp which will be better for the blender). Puree, then add back to soup. Gently reheat if necessary, stirring constantly.
Garnish with any or all of the following:  Salsa, cheese, chopped cilantro, black olives, or sour cream.

However, for those of you without a freezer or no plans to host twenty to forty folks, here is a link to the recipe that only serves six...over at 

Up here on the mountain, thirty minutes from town, I have learned to hard way to make sure I have all the ingredients before I begin!  It was cloudy the day I made this which can be a problem in our all solar home, but this cooking is done entirely on the top of the stove which requires only a moment of electricity to start the burners, unlike my oven which uses electricity to constantly monitor and adjust the temperature.  This way of living is a radical departure from the old days when I would immediately turn on the oven to bake something glorious the moment a cloud began to form in our arid Southwest. 

Another dish I intend to try since I love sweet potatoes....
 Vegetarian Sweet Potato Burger via
Found this on Pinterest and it looks so yummy.  Hop on over to Kathy Patalshy's blog Lunch Box for the recipe.  She has lots of other enticing sounding vegetarian and vegan recipes.  True confession...I am a committed carnivore, but love vegetables as well!

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