I made two different kinds of soup; ham and cheddar chowder and lentil soup. The ham and cheddar chowder recipe is from my sister in law, Nikki, and it is one of her favorite soups. It's rich and cheesy and super yummy. I found the recipe a little tricky, I'll explain below.
I served our soup with Alexia Sweet Potato rolls and Ancient Grain Rolls. They are super delicious and convenient.
Ham and Cheddar Chowder (recipe via The Bank Gift Haus Tea Room cook book)
2 cups water
2 cups potatoes, diced
1/2 cup carrots
1/2 cup celery
1/4 cup onion (chopped)
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
2 cups cheddar, shredded
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1 1/2 cups ham, diced
Bring to boil water, potatoes, carrots and celery. Cook until vegetables are tender, approximately 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
In saucepan, melt butter and saute the onion. Add the flour to make a smooth paste. Add milk and cheese. Heat slowly, stirring often until cheese is fully melted and incorporated. Do not boil. Low heat is important.
Slowly add the water and vegetable mixture to the milk and cheese sauce. Stir to combine.
***My notes: add the shredded cheese slowly and be sure to fully melt and incorporate it before added the water and vegetable mixture. I didn't do this and it slightly changed the texture of the cheese and after that it would not fully melt. I believe this happened because the temperature of the water/veggie mixture was too high. Most of the cheese had melted but the amount that had not refused to ever melt. Super weird but it has something to do with cheese science/chemistry. Yeah, I spent way too much time googling why I couldn't get the remaining cheese to fully melt.
My mom and sister don't eat ham so I made a separate soup for them. My sister loves lentils (and so do I) and I thought this recipe looked great. It was. The leftovers taste awesome.
3 tablespoons extra–virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery stalks plus chopped celery leaves for garnish
1 cup chopped carrots
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 cups (or more) vegetable broth
1 1/4 cups lentils, rinsed, drained
1 14 1/2–ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
Balsamic vinegar (optional)
***My notes: I didn't puree the soup and just left it chunky and rustic. It was totally fine this way. If you choose to puree an immersion blender would work well, don't fully puree, just a couple cups.
My sweet girlie is wearing a pretty dress from her Grandma Karen. After lots of playing we changed Juliet into some comfy jammies. She loves snuggling with her Grandma Connie.
Here she is playing with her wooden shopping cart. Juliet adores this cart, it's from Pottery Barn Kids but unfortunately it says no longer available on the website. Bummer! Lots of people on my Instagram (@eatdrinkpretty) were asking where to get it.
Juliet's daycare is closed this week for spring break so Juliet is being taken care of by both grandmas (on different days) and I'm staying home with her tomorrow. Yay! A whole day with my sweetie pie. I can't wait.