New England Style Chowder

In a week filled with anniversaries, birthdays, and award celebrations, I managed to get one family meal on the table, which came from my Crock Pot. 

A quick recap of events before we dive into two quick and easy chowder recipes, one roux sauce based with flour and the other thickened with corn starch therefore making it gluten free.

The celebrations began this Wednesday to celebrate our 5 year anniversary as the zen of slow cooking. Going back to that first meeting in 2012 when Meg and I came together around Beth Engelman’s dining table and began our partnership seems a lifetime ago. Meg is an event planner extraordinaire and styled a fitting lunch at The Gallery in Lake Forest, as a way to say thank you to all of our friends who helped us into our 6th year. 

Photograph by Kerri Sherman of Bloom and Focus

Then, last night we were honored to receive a Trailblazers award from Search Inc in recognition of our contributions towards creating pathways to employment for people with disabilities. Since 2014 we have watched our team of individuals at Planet Access Company grow from 1 to more than 30. It is an honor to have such a skilled and diligent workforce be a part of the Zen team and we look forward to growing the opportunities more and more. The Trailblazer awards ceremony and annual Search Inc fundraiser last night successfully raised over $138,000 to invest back into programs and service. Take a look at their new video featuring inspirational stories of employment. 

It’s been such a busy week running around with business as usual, while preparing for all our events and writing speeches. As ever, the slow cooker was on hand to fulfill at least one dinner from scratch. 

Using the same base of onions, celery and carrots, I made a smoked salmon chowder and a chicken, corn and bacon chowder (I have a pescetarian in the house.) The salmon chowder was creamier and thicker in texture because of the roux sauce, whereas the chicken and corn chowder had a thinner finish. If you expect a soup to stand your spoon up in, it requires more flour and heavy cream, and perhaps the addition of the crumbled up crackers at the end! All the same, these recipes are lighter and definitely delicious.

Smoked Salmon Chowder
Prep Time: 10m, Cook Time: 8 hours LOW / 3 hours HIGH, Servings: 4-6
  1. 2 tbsp butter
  2. 1 1/2 cups / 1 medium onion, diced
  3. 1 cup / 2 large carrots, diced
  4. 1 cup / 2 celery stalks, diced
  5. 1 tsp garlic, minced
  6. 1/2 tsp each of oregano, thyme
  7. 1 bay leaf
  8. 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  9. 1/2 tsp salt
  10. 2 tbsp flour
  11. 1 cup milk
  12. 1/2 cup white wine
  13. 4 cups broth, vegetable
  14. 6 oz red potatoes, 1/2 " pieces
  15. 1 cup frozen corn
  16. 1 cup half and half (or heavy cream)
  17. 6 - 8 oz smoked salmon
  1. in a skillet, heat the butter on medium and sauté the onion, carrot and celery for 2-3 minutes until it begins to soften
  2. transfer onion mixture and butter to slow cooker
  3. stir in the garlic, oregano, thyme, bay, salt and pepper and flour
  4. stir in the milk, white wine, broth, potatoes and corn
  5. cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 3
  6. when cooking is finished, remove the lid and stir in the half and half and the smoked salmon
  7. replace the lid for 5 - 10 minutes to heat the smoked salmon through
  1. serve with crackers or your favorite crusty bread with salted butter
the zen of slow cooking
Chicken and Corn Chowder with bacon
Prep Time: 10m, Cook Time: 8 hours LOW / 3 hours HIGH, Servings: 4-6
  1. 3/4 lb chicken thigh, boneless, skinless cubed 1" pieces
  2. 6 oz red potatoes, 1/2 " pieces
  3. 1 cup / 1 small onion, diced
  4. 1/2 cup / 1 large carrot, diced
  5. 1/2 cup / 1 celery stalk, diced
  6. 1 cup frozen corn
  7. 2 tsp garlic, minced
  8. 1/2 tsp each of oregano, thyme
  9. 1 bay leaf
  10. 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  11. 1/2 tsp salt
  12. 6 oz red potatoes, 1/2 " pieces
4 cups / 32 fl oz chicken broth
  1. to finish
  2. 1 cup / 4 fl oz half and half (or heavy cream)
  3. 1 tbsp cornstarch
  4. 1 tbsp butter
  5. 4 slices bacon, crisp fried and cut into pieces
  1. put the chicken, potatoes, onion, carrot, celery, corn, oregano, thyme, bay, pepper, salt and chicken broth into the slow cooker
  2. stir, cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 3
  3. 15 minutes before the end of cooking remove the lid and stir in the half and half
  4. in a cup stir together the cornstarch and butter, stir into the chowder mixture and leave to complete the cooking time
  5. serve with the crispy bacon on top
the zen of slow cooking
 Zen Moment

“I am not afraid, I was born to do this”

-Joan of Arc

2 thoughts on “New England Style Chowder

  1. Congratulations Jane and Meg on your fifth anniversary and your latest prestigious award. Good luck for the future. Very proud of you both.
    Mum and Dad, Liz and David

    • Thank you mum! You’ve been a part of the 5 year journey, helping out at the Farmers Market and packaging some of those very first blends around the kitchen table. Thank you for all of your support. xoxo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *