I have never been a big soup person. I like it and even keep a stockpile of chunky soups in case the zombie apocalypse occurs, but it’s not generally something I crave. So when a recipe title (with no ideas attached btw,…just a title, because this is how my brain works.) popped into my head last night while I was trying to sleep, I knew I had to run with it.
Why does that happen, anyway!? Lalalalaa, I’m laying here all drowsy…ahhh, beautiful sleep is upon me…wait for it… CRAP… I forgot to check the kids…I need to sew that button on…I forgot to buy eggs…the cat is impeding my breathing by laying on my neck…I need to pee…and oh yeah, here’s a recipe title with no further info. You have fun trying to sleep now! Signed- your brain.
Sorry. I’m done now. Where was I? Soup…
I, like 4,356,982 other Americans, had a bunch of turkey left over from Thanksgiving. When one buys a 20 pound turkey for 5 people, this is bound to happen. But do I ever learn? Nooooooo… not me. I continue to cook as if I have five children living with us, or like when my daughter, son in law and three kids lived with us. Mind you, two teens, a 51 year old man, myself and a six year old can eat a fair amount, but still. A 20 pound turkey?! Am I insane?!! Forget I asked that.
I’m going to move past all the tangents. I am obviously not capable of writing a coherent post today. Call it turkey tuckered…cranberry coma, potato pooped, stuffing somnolence, pecan pie peaked…sorry. I’ll stop now.
This was one of my throw together ideas. All I had was a name that came at 2am. My husband is fond of saying that my best recipes are the ones I just throw together. The problem being that, half the time, I then forget what I used and you never see these delightful recipes because I am over here foaming at the mouth trying to recall ingredients. Thus why I’m typing this out with a bowl of this yummy chowder in front of me. This really is a delightful chowder…or “chowdah” as my sister in law would say, being the proud Bostonian she is. This is thick and hearty and warming and soothing and any other cozy adjectives that come to mind. It is chock full of turkey, bacon and two cheeses. Since you use leftover turkey and already made mashed potatoes, this comes together quickly. A 30 minute or so simmer and there you go… nice hot, creamy chowder. Erhmmm, chowdah.
You know the drill… btw…. I love you guys!
Quick & Easy Turkey, Bacon & Cheese Chowder
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/3 cup chopped celery
- 1 lb sliced mushrooms (optional- most of us loved them, but my husband whined. If you have a mushroom hater, omit them if you desire)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 4 cups chopped cooked turkey (I used all breast meat; use what pleases you)
- 3 cups half and half or whole milk, divided
- 2 1/2 cups mashed potatoes (homemade, store bought form the refrigerated section, whatever)
- 12 ounces bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled, 1 tablespoon drippings reserved
- 4 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded, plus more for garnish
- 4 ounces Monterey jack cheese, shredded, plus more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 green onions, sliced, plus more for garnish
- salt and pepper to taste (I would usually give measurements, but bacon varies in it’s saltiness and pepper love varies. I used about a teaspoon of each)
- Pour the oil into a heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven. I use my purty blue 4 qt dutch oven because…purty.
- Add in the chopped onions, chopped celery, garlic and mushrooms (if using). Stir to combine, cover then saute over medium heat until softened and the onion is lightly browned, about 7 minutes.
- Add in the chopped turkey. Stir,and heat just long enough to thoroughly warm up the turkey, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add in 2 1/2 cups of the half and half (or milk) and the mashed potatoes. Stir well and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Do not let this boil.
- In a small bowl, combine the last 1/2 cup half and half and the 2 tablespoons flour. Pour the slurry into the chowder and stir to combine. Continue stirring until mixture thickens up somewhat, about 3 minutes. If it’s too thick for your taste, add a wee bit more milk or cream.
- Add in about 3/4 of the bacon and the reserved one tablespoon of drippings. Add in the cheese and 2 green onions. Stir constantly until the cheese is melted and completely incorporated in the chowder. Add in salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for about 10 minutes just to meld the flavors, stirring frequently
- Serve hot, garnished with the remaining bacon, cheese and green onions. Serve with crusty bread and a salad and you have a perfect meal.
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