Mushroom, Potato and Smoked Gouda Chowder

by Beth on February 22, 2009

When I saw this recipe on Elly Says Opa, I knew I had to try it! My husband and I love potatoes, mushrooms, Smoked Gouda cheese and bacon, but we’ve never had them all in one dish.

In an effort to reduce the amount of dairy, I increased the amount of broth by 1/2 a cup and decreased the amount of milk by 1/2 a cup. I opted to use skim milk instead of half and half or cream. In retrospect, half and half would have lent more creaminess to the soup. I have included my changes to the original recipe in italics below.

In trying to add body and make up for the reduced amount of dairy, I went a little too crazy with the food processor. Pureeing nearly 2 full cups of soup produced a rather dingy looking dish. Despite it’s appearance, the soup was delicious!

Served with crusty homemade bread, this soup was the perfect meal for a chilly winter night. It’s warm, tasty and quite filling. The leftovers reheated nicely. We’re both looking forward to making this again.

Mushroom, Potato and Smoked Gouda Chowder
from Elly Says Opa

Yields 4 Servings

1/4 lb. bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
1 lb. mushrooms (your choice, I like to use a variety), sliced
a few sprigs of fresh thyme or a good pinch of dried (I used 1/4 tsp)
1/4 cup dry sherry or white wine
1 bay leaf
3-4 cups Yukon gold potatoes, cubed
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups chicken broth (I used 3.5 cups)
1.5 cups half and half (or milk, or cream) (I used 1 cup of skim milk)
2 oz. smoked Gouda, shredded

In a stockpot or dutch oven, cook the bacon until it has rendered its fat. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.

In the bacon fat, cook the diced onion over low heat for about 2 minutes before adding the mushrooms. Add a little salt and pepper and continue cooking over low or medium-low heat until the mushrooms have released their moisture, about 10-15 minutes. Increase the heat and add the sherry or wine. Cook until almost all of the alcohol has cooked off.

Add the potatoes and the garlic, stirring to combine. Add the bay leaf and broth. Bring to a light boil and simmer until potatoes are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Remove the bay leaf. Put as much or as little of the mixture as you want into a food processor and pulse it. This isn?t necessary but it creates both texture and thickness to the soup. Return the pureed soup to the dutch oven. Add the half and half and Gouda. Simmer until the soup has heated through and the cheese has melted.

Garnish bowls with diced bacon and more cheese, if desired.

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