It’s FNCE weekend!
Oh I know – chances are if you’re not a dietitian you have no idea what I’m talking about. Right. Okay.
Well – FNCE, short for Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo, is the annual meeting of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It’s where all us nutrition experts go to attend various seminars and trainings to learn about up-to-date nutrition science information. We also get to learn about the latest in food technology and food trends. Sounds like fun, right? Well it does to this nutrition nerd. Too bad I wasn’t able to attend this year. But that’s okay! There’s always next year. Besides with the magic of social media, it’s like I am right there attending the conference anyway.
So why am I bringing this up you ask? I mean, I know you probably don’t care that it’s FNCE weekend and I get that – BUT – this year FNCE is being held in Boston. AND you know what Boston got me thinking about? Yup. Chowder. Or should I say – chowda.
What do you think of when you hear chowder? Probably clam, right? Understandable. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as ” a soup or stew of seafood made with milk or tomato with vegetables”. But you know what it also says? “A soup resembling chowder”. Hmmm. Okay – so that’s what I have for you today – “a soup resembling chowder”.
But before I get to that, this got me thinking, what’s the difference between soup and chowder anyway? Well, soup typically has a thinner broth while chowder is thick and chunky. Um, okay. So wouldn’t that make “Manhattan Clam Chowder” “Manhattan Clam Soup”? Oh I don’t know. All I know is that cooler temperatures are beginning to set in and it was time to make some soup. Chowder. Soup. Oh whatever.
Anyway, I had a head a cauliflower and a sweet potato hanging around that were in danger of crossing over to the other side. You know – I needed to use them asap! So I thought, why the heck not, let’s turn this into chowder soup!
In this recipe, the cauliflower serves as the “creamy” base and the roasting adds a nuttiness that steaming just doesn’t do. Throw in that sweet potato with some diced up rotisserie chicken and there’s the beginning of a “soup resembling chowder”, Cauliflower & Chicken Chowder Soup.
Oh and PS – this is a great way to sneak in extra servings of vegetables! Woohoo! 🙂
What’s your take on chowder?
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 head of garlic, broken into individual cloves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 carrots, sliced into half moons
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups cooked and diced chicken*
- 4-5 cups vegetable stock
- Green onions for garnish, optional
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the cauliflower and garlic cloves on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Mix together and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, mixing halfway through.
- Once cooked, let cool for a few minutes. Set aside 1 cup of florets. Add the rest to a large bowl.
- Add 1 cup vegetable stock and using a hand blender* puree until smooth. It will be on the thicker side - that's okay.
- While the cauliflower and garlic are roasting, heat large saucepan then add 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- When olive oil is hot, add onion, carrot, celery, sweet potato. Stir to coat with olive oil and let cook until they begin to soften.
- After about 5 minutes, add thyme, smoked paprika, cayenne, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. If mixture is too dry you can add a bit of water.
- Once the cauliflower is cooked and pureed, add to saucepan with other ingredients. Add of reserved florets and the chicken. Stir to combine then start to add the vegetable stock. Slowly stir in one cup at a time until you reach the texture you want (thick or thin).
- Cook another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Remove bay leaves.
- Top bowls of chowder with sliced green onions, if desired.
*If you don't have a hand blender you can use a regular blender to puree the cauliflower and garlic.
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