Fun Food Fridays: Cauliflower Ham Chowder

For Christmas, The Queen Mother (my mom) bought ESP Boss (my dad) Taste Of Home: Big Book of Soup. While we were still in Tucson for Christmas, we made Cauliflower Ham Chowder from page 188.

The book is worth every penny!

The book is worth every penny!

Here’s the original recipe, as submitted by Lois Buch.

Ingredients
– 2 cups cubed peeled potatoes
– 2 cups fresh cauliflower florets
– 1 small onion, finely diced
– 1 cup chicken broth
– 3 cups milk
– 2 1/2 cups cubed, fully cooked ham
– 1 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp pepper
– dash ground nutmeg
– 1/2 to 1 cup instant potato flakes
– minced fresh parsley

In a saucepan, cook the potatoes, cauliflower and onion in chicken broth until tender. Stir in the milk, ham, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Heat through.

Stir in potato flakes; simmer for 5-10 minutes or until soup is as thick as desired. Sprinkle with parsley.

Ah! The finished product.

Ah! The finished product.

Here are my recommendations:

  • First off, I omitted the salt. With both chicken broth AND ham I didn’t feel the soup needed any extra salt. We also left off the parsley since ESP Boss won’t touch the stuff with a ten-foot pole!
  • I found that the soup was thick and filling (excellent for camping!) but a bit bland. I ended up putting a TON of pepper on mine while others of my family were reaching for the Tabasco or other hot sauce.
  • I would recommend even adding a can of diced green chili to the soup — maybe adding it to the bowls of the people to taste.
  • Also, for my family, there was no where NEAR enough ham. But that’s just us: we tend to think everything is better with more meat!
  • And don’t worry if you have picky eaters that won’t eat cauliflower. Because it’s virtually mashed into the soup the texture and flavor is buried in all that potato goodness!

Update from 1/16/2010

My folks have made about a dozen recipes from this book so far and everything has been wonderful! I highly recommend getting this book if you like soups, chowders, chili, etc. Most recipes could easily be made in an outdoor kitchen while camping.

The book is available from Amazon.com

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