Most chowders are made using dairy and seafood, but this one is more of a cross between soup and stew using a ton of veggies and spices. To thicken it up, instead of adding whipping cream, I used an immersion blender to mix some of the vegetables into the broth.
I know it’s a little unconventional to feature pumpkin in a recipe in December, but I’ve had this little pumpkin on my counter forever and I wanted to find a cool way to use it off-season. I was shocked it was still good to be honest—those things last forever. Eating roasted pumpkin seeds is always fun too.
I adapted this recipe from Country Living‘s version. I made a couple of changes (like using an immersion blender and adding in shallot) but it ended up being my first attempt at chowder and I liked it a lot. Adding in fresh spinach at the end gives some colour to the dish, which is always good for aesthetics too.
Sidenote: Everyone who I talked to about this recipe would only refer to it as “chowdah” like Mayor Quimby from The Simpsons. Completely irrelevant to this recipe, but I’m sure they’re not the only ones reading it that way.
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 leek, rough green tops removed, and chopped
- 1 shallot, peeled and chopped
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium bell pepper (colour of your choice), chopped
- 1 small pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cubed into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 tbsp. fresh marjoram, finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 1/2 tsp. white vinegar
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp. hot sauce (optional)
- 1 1/4 cups frozen corn
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add leek and shallot, and allow to cook until aromas begin to arise, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Throw in bell peppers, mix around in the pot, and sauté for 5-7 minutes until peppers are softened. Add in remaining ingredients except the spinach, and bring to a boil. Bring down to a strong simmer and cook for 25 minutes.
Remove the chowder from heat. With an immersion blender, blend a small amount of the chowder so that it thickens the broth. Add in spinach and stir until it has reduced in size. Serve steaming hot on a cold afternoon! To reheat, put in a saucepan over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.