Green Chile Corn Chowder – Low Carb Style

Fall Soup Season is full blown and I’m in the mood for warm and spicy comfort food now that the temperatures are finally dropping. This creamy soup stars fresh corn and green chile from the fall harvest. You are going to love it!

What makes this chowder unique is the absence of the potato. Ever since my husband’s diabetes diagnosis, we have drastically limited our carb intake. This includes wiping out my love, the potato. I have found however, that rutabaga can be a delicious alternative and in some recipes, like this one an upgrade. Fun fact, rutabaga turns a lovely light orange when cooked.

A 1-cup serving of boiled cubed rutabaga contains only 51 calories and 12 grams of carbohydrates, including 3.1 grams of fiber, making the net carbs 9 grams. The same amount of boiled potatoes contains 136 calories and 31 grams of carbohydrates, including 3 grams of fiber, which means 28.8 grams net carbs.

Green Chile Corn Chowder

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Yellow Onion, chopped – about 2 cups
  • 1 Medium Rutabaga – chopped – about 2 cups
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican Oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 4 cups (32 oz. box) Vegetable Broth
  • 1/2 cup Green Chile, the frozen roasted & peeled kind is perfect!
  • 4 Ears of Sweet Corn – just the kernels
  • 1 cup 1/2 and 1/2

Directions:

  1. Skin the onions and cut up into small size chunks.
  2. Wash and peel the skin from the rutabaga, cut off the ends and cut the dense center meat into small size chunks.
  3. Melt the butter in a soup pot on medium heat and add the onions and rutabaga. Sauté for about 10 minutes until onions are becoming translucent.
  4. Peel and chop the garlic add in the soup pot. Stir and simmer for another minute.
  5. Add in the smoked paprika, garlic salt and Mexican oregano. Stir and sauté for another minute.
  6. Pour in the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to low, cover, and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Test the rutabaga after 20 minutes and see if it is soft enough to slice with a fork.
  8. While simmering, add 1/2 cup of frozen green chile and sliced kernals from 4 ears of corn. Continue to simmer for another 5 minutes.
  9. Add the 1/2 & !/2 and simmer until warm all the way through. Serve or save. This soup  is delicious right away or the next day.

End-of-Summer Squash & Chorizo Soup

We just enjoyed our first frost and we are celebrating with my husband’s new favorite End-of-Summer Squash & Chorizo Soup. This chunky, spicy soup is chock full of summer vegetables like green zucchini, red peppers, yellow squash, green chile, sweet corn, onions and garlic. The flavor comes from a good, coarse cut pork chorizo sausage. You can make this soup in 45 minutes and serve right away!

End-of-Summer Squash & Chorizo Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Yellow Onion, chunky chopped
  • 1 Green Zucchini, sliced into half moons
  • 1 Yellow Squash, sliced into half moons
  • 1 Red Pepper, chunky chopped
  • 8 oz Mushrooms, quartered
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons Garlic Salt
  • 1 lb. Coarse Ground Mexican Chorizo Pork Sausage
  • 4 cups (32 oz. box) Vegetable Broth
  • 1/2 cup Green Chile, the frozen roasted & peeled kind is perfect!
  • 1 Ear of Sweet Corn

Directions:

  1. Wash and dry the vegetables. Cut up into medium size chunks.
  2. Spray olive oil on a cooking pan, spread vegetables across pan, spray with a bit more olive oil and season with garlic salt. Roast in an oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
  3. While your vegetables are roasting, fry your chorizo breaking the bits apart into small pieces. Get it good and brown. When done, transfer meat to a plate covered with a paper towel. This will help to remove as much grease as possible.
  4. Transfer chorizo to a 4 quart soup pot, add roasted vegetables and broth. Bring to a boil quickly and then simmer.
  5. While simmering, add 1/2 cup of frozen green chile and sliced kernals from 1 ear of corn
  6. Simmer until warm all the way through. Serve immediately. This soup tastes great while the vegetables are fresh and colorful!

Ready to be roasted soup veggies

 

Cooked chorizo

Green Chile Sausage and Kale Soup

Green Chile Sausage and Kale SoupI love fresh roasted green chile and I love fresh sausage.  I’m still trying to love kale.  I have a lot of it due to my ongoing CSA, so I thought I would take a little twist on some of the recipes out there for sausage and kale soup.  First off, I have to say that if your soup is going to taste really good, take the time to get some quality sausage and quality green chile.

I go to Sprouts or Whole Foods for my green chile pork sausage. It typically comes in links.  I wait for it to go on sale, $2.99 a pound, and then I buy a lot and freeze it.

Does your local farmer’s market carry green chile? September is the season.  Ours sells small bags for $5.00 each.  I selected a mild green chile for this soup.  This intent is not a fiery hot soup, it has just enough green chile for flavor not the burn.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3 tbs. oil
  • 2 links green chile pork sausage (remove the casing)
  • 1/4 cup roasted, seeded, skinned mild green chile, diced
  • 32 oz. box of vegetable broth
  • 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 medium bunch of kale, like 8 leaves, chopped equals about 8 loose cups
  • Optional – serve with parmesan cheese

Directions:

  • Saute onion and garlic with olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy soup pot on medium heat. Allow onions and garlic to soften but not brown.
  • Add green chile pork sausage and green chiles to pan.  Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring so that sausage cooks through but does not brown.
  • Pour in box of vegetable broth and tomatoes.  Do not drain the tomatoes, pour the juice right in. Add the extra cup of water. Give the soup a stir. Turn up the heat to medium-high. Continue cooking until the pot begins to boil a bit.
  • Add the chopped kale and give the soup another stir.  Cover and bring down the heat to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes allowing the kale to soften and the flavors to blend.  Salt and pepper to taste.   Serve with fresh parmesan cheese.
  • Note – this soup is even better the next day!
Wild Garden Kale

There are many varieties of kale, but this is the kind I had on hand today…

IMG_0882

Green chile roasting at the Loveland Farmer’s Market in Colorado

Summer Garden Ratatouille

Summer Garden RatatouilleWe had a luscious, wet and wonderful summer here in Colorado.  Between my summer CSA and the bounty of the local farmer’s markets fabulous fresh produce abounds!  Warm ratatouille is comforting on a cold winter night, but it is never so flavorful as it is during peak summer vegetable season.

I like my ratatouille chunky and stewlike.  I love this recipe because it doesn’t matter how nicely you chop your veggies.  I chop them big and sloppy.  Everything will cook down in this delicious Mediterranean stew, so don’t worry about perfection here, let your knife fly.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 4 medium cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 3 tbs. olive oil
  • 2 medium eggplants, cubed
  • 5 inch stalk rosemary, chopped (1 tsp. dry)
  • 6 big basil leaves, chopped (2 tsp. dry)
  • 1tsp. thyme, chopped (1/2 tsp. dry)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 small zucchinis, chopped
  • 2 medium bell (red & green)
    peppers, chopped
  • 2 garden tomatoes, chopped (14-1/2 oz. can or 1 cup Chunky Marinara Sauce)

Chopped Veggies

Directions:

  • Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add onion and saute over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Add garlic and continue to saute for 2 additional minutes.
  • Add eggplant, salt, herbs and stir.  Cover and cook over medium heat, about 20 minutes until the eggplant is soft.  Stir occasionally.
  • Add zuchini, bell peppers and tomatoes.  If using canned whole tomatoes break them open with your wooden spoon. Cover and let simmer on medium-low heat until the zucchini and bell peppers are tender, about 10 minutes.  I prefer my vegetables a little more crisp, my husband likes them on the soft side.  I try to find a nice compromise. When I know he’s going to be eating my ratatouille, I usually go 15 minutes.
  • Serve hot or at room temperature.

This is what is so great about ratatouille as a summer meal.  I like to accompany room temperature ratatouille with toasted bread and a little olive oil for a make-your-own bruschetta.  It is also wonderful over my zesty Mediterranean Quinoa.  In the winter, a hot bowl of ratatouille is a warming meal on its own.

Mushroom & Wild Rice Soup

Mushroom Wild Rice Soup

This rich vegetarian soup could easily turn vegan by omitting the butter and the cream. It’s perfect for a cozy afternoon lunch or supper.  The depth of this soup is brought out by caramelizing the onions and the mushrooms, so don’t rush. I like the thin broth on this soup, but others might like it a little thicker.  I’ll share in the recipe when to add a little flour if you want it thick.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup wild rice mix (feel free to use 100% wild rice if you like)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 pound mushrooms, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons herbs de provence
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup heavy or light cream
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided

Directions:

  1. Bring 2 cups of  water to a boil. Add the wild rice mix and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, following the directions on the mix package.
  2. While the rice cooks, heat a tablespoon of oil and a tablespoon of butter  in a skillet.  Add onions, a teaspoon of salt, and stir until the onions are completely coated.  Keep an eye on the them while you begin to make the soup base in another pot. You will want these onions to caramelize.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of oil in dutch oven or stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and celery with a half teaspoon of salt, and cook until the celery has softened, 3-5 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium and add the vegetable broth.  Allow the broth and vegetables to simmer.  When the onions have caramelized, add them to the pot. Stir, and continue to simmer.
  4. Put your skillet back on the burner, add a tablespoon of butter, now you will brown the mushrooms. Add the other teaspoon of salt to the mushrooms. Sauté until the mushrooms have released all their liquid and turned dark brown, 15-20 minutes. Add the garlic and herb de provence, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Here is where you make a decision – thick or thin broth.  If you want it thin, skip this step and move to step 6. If you want it thick, sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of flour over the mushrooms and stir until they are completely coated.
  6. Increase the heat to medium-high and pour the wine into the mushrooms. Stir and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Continue simmering until the wine has reduced.  If you did not add flour, you will notice that the mushrooms will absorb much of the wine. If you did add the flour, continue to heat until the mushroom sauce has thickened a bit.  Now add the mushrooms to the soup pot.
  7. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add the bay leaf, cream, and wild rice mix. Simmer for another 15 minutes, until the soup has thickened to your liking. Add salt to taste.

New Mexican Red Chile Posole

Posole is comfort food in New Mexico.  It’s warm, rich, smoky and filling.  There are many ways to make posole, but this is the way I learned from my good friends when I lived in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

I like the roasted flavor in this version as opposed to the stovetop or crockpot versions which is much more common. Good posole takes time. I use canned hominy because I it’s easy. I know that sounds crazy! If you really want to cook hominy from it’s dried form, here is a great recipe. Just add it in to the recipe at the end as written below.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb. pork shoulder
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 dried red chile pods
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 15 oz can white hominy, drained and rinsed

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Place pork shoulder in roasting pan.
  3. Make a paste with the pressed garlic cloves, cumin, oregano, onion, salt, and oil.  Smother the paste all around the pork roast.
  4. Add 2 cups of water to the roasting pan.
  5. Remove the stems and seeds from red chile pods, rinse them and then place in the water around the pork in the roasting pan.
  6. Cover the roasting pan and place in the oven for one hour.
  7. Remove the now soft chile from the pan and place in a blender for later.
  8. Check the water level in the pan, you may find you need to add more.  It’s good to have at least an inch or two of water for the next step.
  9. Open the can of white hominy, drain and rinse thoroughly with cold water.
  10. Add the posole (hominy) to the pan, in the broth, around the pork.
  11. Continue cooking until the meat is tender and falling off the bone. This is typically another 45 minutes or so.
  12. Remove the roast pork and posole.  Cut pork into pieces, or shred with two forks.  Pour the contents: pork, broth, and posole into a dutch oven on your stovetop.  Begin cooking your posole on medium heat.
  13. Add another cup of water to your red chile in the blender.  Blend on high for about 3 minutes, or until completely smooth.
  14. Add the red chile mixture to the posole and continue to heat through for about 1o minutes.
  15. Add salt to taste.

Mexican Butternut Squash Stew

My husband really hates squash, and that is why I really like to make this Mexican Butternut Squash Stew.  I get to eat it all by myself.

This stew holds up well in the fridge, so it can be taken to work for lunch throughout the week. It’s completely vegetarian and pretty darn healthy.

Ingredients: 
  • 1 2-pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 3-4 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced into 1 centimeter cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1  cup (one small) chopped yellow sweet onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon whole cumin
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped green pepper (plus 2 tablespoons extra for garnish)
  • 1/4 cup chopped red pepper
  1. Heat a dutch oven over medium heat and toast the cumin seeds for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Pour in the tablespoon of olive oil.
  3. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it softens and begins to brown.  Stir in the garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Add the sugar, chipotle powder and cook for  about 30 seconds.
  4. Pour the broth into the pot, then add the squash, potatoes, chipotle pepper powder, salt and pepper.  Simmer for about 20 minutes. Check the potatoes for doneness.  As you stir the stew the squash should begin to break apart.  Feel free to mash the squash a bit to thicken the broth, turning the soupy liquid to stew.  Cook until potatoes are soft.
  5. Turn off the heat, add the red and green peppers, and and allow the stew to cool a bit.
  6. Rewarm the stew when ready to serve.
  7. Taste the stew and adjust the seasoning to taste.
  8. Serve the stew garnished with green pepper.
Yield: 4 servings
Total cook time: 30 Minutes