Chowder has its roots in the Latin word calderia, which originally meant a place for warming things, and later came to mean cooking pot. The word calderia also gave us cauldron, and in French became chaudiere. It is also thought to come from the old English word jowter , which is what they called a fish peddler.
A simple dish of chowder, in the past considered to be “poor man’s food,” has a history that is centuries old. Vegetables or fish stewed in a cauldron thus became known as chowder in English-speaking nations, a corruption of the name of the pot or kettle in which they were cooked.
For me, a chowder is a thick and chunky soup, unlike a bisque that is thick and velvety. There’s just something cozy and comforting about a good chowder. Here’s one of my favorite chowders that’s light and hearty. I was very skeptical about using cauliflower in place of potatoes, but after tasting this my fears were soon forgotten.
It turns out that cauliflower is an amazing low-carb substitute, and it’s really such a perfect way to sneak in some veggies for those picky eaters. This is one cozy, hearty soup that the whole family will enjoy!
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups Swanson's vegetable broth
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Melt butter in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add garlic, onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in cauliflower and bay leaf. Cook, stirring occasionally, until barely crisp-tender, about 3-4 minutes.
- Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in vegetable broth and milk, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes.
- Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 12-15 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- If the chowder is too thick, add more milk as needed until desired consistency is reached.
- Serve immediately, garnished with McCormick Bac'n Pieces or Bacon Bits (which are surprisingly vegan) and parsley, if desired.