Friday, January 3, 2014

Chicken Broccoli Cheddar Chowder

This evening youngest son came for dinner. It was a very cold day here today and even though it was sunny, we never made it out of the 30s. It is supposed to get even colder in the next few days according to the forecast (lows in the single digits by Tuesday...yikes). I decided that this would be a perfect night for soup. I made Chicken Broccoli Cheddar Chowder for dinner. I cooked a pot of chicken breasts on top of the stove (so I would have extra chicken left for other things) and steamed fresh broccoli florets. I purposely didn't make the soup as thick as a "creamed soup"...although that would be good, too. I thickened it very slightly, just enough to give it some body and richness. I added 1/2 teaspoon of xanthum gum (you could also use cream cheese instead if you prefer) and then a bit of cream before melting in the freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese. I purposely grated a block of cheese for this instead of using pre-shredded cheese because it tends to melt and incorporate better when it isn't coated with any starches or anti-caking agents like most pre-shredded cheeses are. It turned out good and the 2 main ingredients, chicken and broccoli, just happen to be youngest son's favorites. Adding a little cream and touch of xanthum gum to the soup base helped give a slight richness to what otherwise would have been a lighter "brothy" type soup. With the unusual cold weather today, it just seemed like a good choice. I snapped a few photos below as well as the easy recipe. This is a perfect soup to make if you have leftover chicken or turkey to use up. You can add your own favorite veggies instead if you aren't wild about broccoli. Enjoy!

Chicken Broccoli Cheddar Chowder
Makes approximately 4 servings


1 - 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1/4 cup finely diced onion
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
5 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, minced
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Dash of chipotle chile powder or cayenne pepper, optional 
1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum (to be added gradually, 1/2 at a time), *optional
3/4 cup heavy cream
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3 cups diced cooked chicken
2 cups steamed broccoli florets


In a 6 quart stockpot, melt butter and saute celery and onion until translucent; add carrots and chicken stock; cover and simmer until vegetables are tender. Add parsley, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste and optional chipotle powder or cayenne pepper. Bring stock and vegetable mixture to a light boil/simmer while whisking in the xanthum gum 1/4 teaspoon at a time, whisking vigorously until well blended. Simmer for a few minutes until broth begins to thicken very slightly.  Stir in cream. Taste for seasoning. Stir in cheddar cheese, whisking until melted.  Add chicken and broccoli and combine.  Simmer on low for a few minutes, just until hot; do not boil.  Serve topped with additional cheese, if desired.

*If you prefer not to use xanthum gum to thicken the soup, you can substitute a few ounces of cream cheese by melting and stirring in until desired thickness.


CyberSis said...


This looks wonderful ... especially tonight when we're getting single digit temps ... below zero!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis -- Thanks! I realize so many of you have it so much colder than we do here...obviously we don't have any idea what REAL cold is here in the south! I can't even tell you how cold I feel in the 30s with high I can only imagine what you feel with single digits. I may get a chance to find out -- they are calling for temps down to 9 degrees for our low Tuesday! Stay warm!!! :-)

Roberta said...

Just popping in to say THANK YOU again ... cooking for one is so boring and working to stay on a WB lifestyle makes it frustrating. Your recipes not only show/tell me how to cook but are "real world" recipes that help me stay on track. Thank you!!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks so much, Roberta! So glad my recipes and ideas help! :-)