Thanksgiving leftovers are perfect for chowder

November 25, 2007|By Betty Rosbottom | Betty Rosbottom,Tribune Media Services

This chowder does not take long to prepare (count on about 20 minutes for prepping and 30 for cooking) and calls for ingredients you are likely to have on hand if you prepared Thanksgiving dinner.

A recipe serves 6, but can easily be doubled. I plan to serve this rich, delectable chowder with a salad and some warm bread for lunch or supper.

Betty Rosbottom writes for Tribune Media Services.

`AFTER THANKSGIVING' TURKEY, SWEET POTATO AND BACON CHOWDER

Serves 6

5 slices lean smoked bacon

1 cup chopped onion

3/4 cup chopped celery

2 cups cubed ( 1/2 -inch dice) peeled sweet potato (see note)

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

4 cups chicken or turkey broth, divided

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/8 teaspoon dried rubbed sage

3 tablespoons flour

1 1/2 cups half-and-half

2 to 2 1/2 cups roasted turkey cut into 1/2 -inch dice

Fresh sage and thyme sprigs for garnish, optional

In a large, heavy pot set over medium heat, saute bacon until browned and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove to drain on paper towels. Crumble coarsely and set aside. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the drippings in the pan.

Add onion and celery to the same pot, still over medium heat. Saute, stirring, for 2 minutes. Then add sweet potatoes, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Saute, stirring, until slightly softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 3 1/2 cups of the broth, thyme and sage and bring mixture to a simmer.

While mixture is coming to a simmer, place flour in a small bowl and whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup stock to form a slurry to thicken the soup. Whisk the slurry into the soup once it comes to a simmer. Reduce heat and cook at a simmer until vegetables are tender, but not mushy, about 10 minutes.

Whisk in the half-and-half, bring mixture to a simmer and cook 1 minute. Add turkey and cook 1 to 2 minutes to warm through. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed. (The soup can be prepared 1 day ahead; cool, cover and refrigerate. Reheat over medium heat, stirring often.)

Serve chowder in 6 soup bowls and garnish each serving with some crumbled bacon and, if desired, with a fresh sage and thyme sprig.

Note: Two types of sweet potato are available in the United States. One has pale tan skin and light colored orange flesh, while the other (often erroneously labeled yams in the super market) has a darker skin and rich copper-hued flesh. The latter variety (with its bright orange flesh) is the one I like to use in this chowder. About 3/4 pound should yield 2 diced cups.

Per serving: 262 calories, 23 grams protein, 11 grams fat, 5 grams saturated fat, 18 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 67 milligrams cholesterol, 966 milligrams sodium

Recipe analysis provided by registered dietitian Jodie Shield.

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