‘Tis the season for chowder. As soon as the days begin to grow crisper and the leaves start to fall, my mind often transitions into chowder mode. Today was one of those days. Today was a day built for comfort food. I woke up with one thought in my head: chowder. Ok, well maybe two thoughts: spend time with my boys, and then….make some chowder.
So, we read books, played games, built a fort, and did all the fun, relaxing things there are to do on a lazy, chilly, October-y, Saturday…in our pj’s (of course). And then, while the boys were fully engrossed in their activities, I snuck away to the kitchen to cook.
This chowder is a variation on my older, tried and true version. I used to use cream of this and cream of that soups in my chowder, which certainly helped to thicken it up, but it also added plenty of “extra stuff” in the way of ingredients that I couldn’t pronounce. On our quest to eat more whole foods and limited ingredient foods, I ventured into the unknown of making this completely from scratch.
If you’ve never heard of Egyptian onions, here’s a little background for you, and a bit of a warning. I first learned about them when I attended a gardening class taught by a master gardner from the University of Minnesota. Not only did I learn a great deal in the class, but I also went home with a handful of Egyptian onion sets. I planted them in my garden, and before long, I had onions everywhere. They are also known as walking onions or topset onions, because they grow large, tall green shoots, with bulbets on top. The bulbets make the onions top-heavy, so they tip over, and whereever the bulbets land, they sprout a brand new plant. So, you have to be very diligent with these little guys, or they will take over.
Both the green stems and the bulbets are edible. I prefer to dice the green stems and use them in recipes just as I would with green onions.
Golden Potato and Shrimp Chowder with Egyptian Onions
1 lb golden potatoes – peeled and diced
1 medium white onion – chopped
1 quart organic chicken broth
8 oz medium cooked shrimp – peeled and deveined
1 cup corn
4 large cloves of garlic
1/2 cup diced Egyptian onions
4 oz cream cheese – cubed
1 Tbsp butter
2 cups milk
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepper
Melt butter in a large stockpot. Add white onion, Egyptian onions and garlic, and saute for a few minutes until tender. Add chicken broth, potatoes, sea salt, and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Then, add corn and shrimp. Continue to cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Add cubed cream cheese to stockpot, and whisk to incorporate.
In a large bowl, whisk cornstarch into the milk. Slowly pour into stockpot, and mix thoroughly. Place a cover on the stockpot and simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring frequently. If chowder is too thin, add more cornstarch to thicken.
Ladle chowder into bowls. Top with additional Egyptian onions, and serve with sourdough bread.