Yesterday, the hubby asked if I wanted anything at the store since he was going to stop on the way home. I innocently asked for “some mushrooms” and wouldn’t you know it – he brought me one of each kind of mushrooms they had in the store!! Instead of flowers, he always woos me with produce!!
All of a sudden I had more mushrooms then I had plans for, so I whipped up this quick and easy mushroom chowder for dinner. I used the same basic template of all creamy chowders – bacon, cream, potatoes, herbs – and just placed some roasted mushrooms in place of the clams/seafood that make up the classic stews.
And it was delicious!!
While I was scooping out the bowls to take some pictures, both kids came sniffing around and requested bowls for themselves. I was highly impressed that they BOTH wanted to eat mushroom chowder and was feeling pretty good about myself until Avery asked for no mushrooms and Whitney followed up with the same request. So, mushroom chowder for the kiddos, minus the mushrooms, and some warm rosemary popovers on the side (they ate those with no issue) and the hubs and I ate the rest of the chowder – with extra mushrooms, ha!
This dish is warm, comforting, and perfect for fall. Roasted mushroom, fennel and potato chowder – put this on your weeknight dinner rotation, you won’t be disappointed!!
mushroom, fennel and potato chowder
makes 6-8 servings
1/4 pound bacon, roughly chopped
8 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and roughly chopped into bite sized pieces (use your favorite – I used trumpet, brown button, nameko and shimeji)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1/2 medium white onion, finely chopped
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, core removed and finely chopped (save fronds for garnishing)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
8 ounces potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces (use your favorite – I used fingerling)
6 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock or water)
1 cup cream
1 tablespoon fresh chives
In a heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon (stirring occasionally) until the fat has been released and the bacon has become crispy. Turn off the heat. Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and place onto a plate to cool. Remove most of the bacon fat and set aside, reserving about two tablespoons in the pan.
Turn the heat back to medium-high and add the mushrooms and the thyme to the pot and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook the mushrooms until they become golden brown, about seven to ten minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the pot with the slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the onion and fennel to the pot. Stir the vegetables and allow them to cook in the fat until slightly wilted, about five minutes. You will need to stir the vegetables occasionally and might need to add a bit more bacon fat so the vegetables don’t burn.
Add the garlic, potatoes and vegetable stock to the pan, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release the browned vegetable bits. Bring the soup to a boil, then turn down the heat, cover with lid and cook until the potatoes are soft, about 15 minutes or so, depending on your type and size of potatoes.
Once the potatoes are fully cooked, add the mushrooms, bacon, cream, chives, chopped fennel fronds and season with additional salt and black pepper if needed. Serve immediately or cool, cover and store in your refrigerator for up to five days.