Bean and Vegetable Chowder for a Crowd
This “meal in a pot” is easy, healthy (low in sodium and fat but high in protein, carbohydrates, and fiber), and colorful with a hearty texture and delicious flavor.
When the weather starts turning cold, a big bowl of chowder – just another word for a thick soup – is just the dish to serve along with a salad for lunch or dinner. Using a bag of Frontier Soups Minnesota Heartland Eleven Bean Soup Mix (which contains dried beans, peas, lentils, and a bouquet garni of herbs and NO added salt), along with a few pantry staples (onion, carrot, celery, chopped tomatoes, vegetable broth, and pasta) makes for one satisfying bowl of chowder to feed a crowd of 10-12 (or a smaller group with leftovers).Bean and Vegetable Chowder is low in sodium (there is virtually no sodium in the soup mix) and fat (no added oils) but high in protein, carbs, and fiber (beans, peas, lentils, vegetables, and whole grain pasta).
Making the chowder is very easy. With minimal effort (the only chopping required is for the onion, celery, and carrots) and time (putting the ingredients into the soup pot which takes all of a few minutes), the only big requirement is patience because the soup needs to cook on the stove for about 3 hours. But, while the soup is cooking, other things can be taken care of.
The recipe below makes a very thick chunky chowder (almost like a goulash). If you prefer a thinner version, simply increase the water by 2-3 cups of water.
Bean and Vegetable Chowder for a Crowd (Serves 10-12)
- 18-ounce bag of Frontier Minnesota Heartland Eleven Bean Soup Mix*
- 4 cups of low sodium vegetable broth
- 12 cups of water
- 28-ounce container of chopped tomatoes
- 6 stalks of celery, chopped
- 5 large carrots, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 8-ounce bag of Ancient Grain Pasta Elbows (or the pasta of your choice)
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup of chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)
Place 8 cups of water and 4 cups of broth into a large soup pot. Add the soup mix (which includes a garni of herbs).
Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover, and allow to cook for 2 hours and 30 minutes. The soup will be very thick.
Chop the onion, celery, and carrots. Set aside.
Add 4 cups of water, the chopped tomatoes, onions, celery, and carrots. Stir. Bring to a boil and again reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
Add the bag of uncooked pasta to the soup and bring to a boil. Cook for 2-3 minutes (Ancient Grain Pasta Elbows cook quickly). Turn the heat off. Cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Remove the lid. Remove the garni of herbs and discard. Add salt and pepper to taste.