The Weekly Kitchen: An old-fashioned Potato Chowder

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By ANGELA McRAE, Special to The Weekly

There’s a popular saying that goes, “You may forget what people say, but you’ll never forget how they made you feel.” I think that applies to restaurants too. You may forget what you ate at a place, but you’ll never forget how they made you feel when you visited.

Many years ago, I decided to explore a new-to-me tearoom all by myself. If you’ve never been to tea by yourself, I highly recommend it. I took a journal with me, headed to A Time Remembered in Thomaston, and had a delightful time enjoying the food and just hearing myself think. If there’s a better place to do this than alone in a tea room, I can’t think of it. Like many tearooms, alas, A Time Remembered has since closed and is now “a tearoom remembered,” but I’m so grateful the tearoom published a cookbook so that I would remember that day and the lovely hospitality I experienced.

I always like to buy a tearoom’s cookbook when I have the opportunity. They have such great tried-and-true recipes, with nothing too fancy, too wacky, or too hard to make. This potato chowder recipe in the book appealed to me for many reasons. Soup is such a satisfying food to make to ward off winter’s chill. And this recipe is actually quite a flexible one since it lets you decide exactly how many servings to make, and I like this option very much. Of course, when I read that it is recommended you serve this in teacups, that was certainly how I chose to serve mine.

And the result? This homey, filling chowder is one that makes a perfect light meal for cold winter days.

Old-Fashioned Potato Chowder

You will need the following ingredients per serving:

1 tablespoon salted butter
1 medium Idaho potato, peeled and diced in 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 baby carrots, diced
2-inch strip of celery stalk, diced
1/8 medium onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon flour
Whole milk, as desired (I find that 1/2 cup per serving is a good starting point, and you can add more if you prefer your soup thinner)

In soup pot, melt butter on medium heat and add potato chunks. Add just enough water to cover potatoes (amount will vary based on how many servings you are making) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer while preparing other ingredients.

In skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat and add carrots, celery and onion. Cook until soft. Sprinkle with dill, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Turn off heat, add flour and blend well.

Make sure potatoes are still covered with water and bring back to a boil, then add skillet ingredients and stir. Reduce heat to simmer. Continue to stir, and add milk to desired consistency. Simmer the mixture, covered, until potatoes are soft. Add more seasonings as desired. Serve in small bowls or teacups.

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