HEARTY CURRIED VEGGIE CHEDDAR CHOWDER
1 large head cauliflower
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup butter
1 large leek, chopped white and light green parts
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeño, chopped including seeds
1 large red skinned potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into ½” dice (about 2 cups)
½-pound cremini mushrooms, sliced (about 3 cups)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons curry powder
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups vegetable stock
1, 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
1-pint heavy cream
½ cup frozen corn kernels, defrosted
1 ½ cups Sargento Sharp Cheddar, Fine Cut shredded cheese
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Break cauliflower into florets and break the florets into bit size pieces. Spread in an even layer on a cookie sheet covered with tinfoil. Drizzle with the olive oil and ½ teaspoon of the salt and ½ teaspoon of the black pepper. Mix or ‘massage’ to evenly coat all pieces. Bake until tender and lightly browned, about 25-30 minutes. Set aside.
In an 8 quart stock pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add leeks, garlic, and jalapeño. Sauté until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add potatoes, mushrooms, and red pepper. Sauté for another 10 minutes, stirring frequently until well combined and all veggies begin to soften and lightly brown.
Add curry power, the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Stir until fragrant. Add flour and mix well, cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add vegetable stock and turn heat to medium high. Let mixture cook on low boil until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 5 more minutes.
Add coconut milk, heavy cream, corn, and roasted cauliflower. Mix well and let cook for another 3-5 minutes while flavors combine. Add 1 cup of the shredded cheese and mix until melted.
Serve steaming hot in 1-2 cup bowls and garnished with 2 teaspoon of the remaining cheese and 1-2 teaspoon of chopped cilantro. Devour!
This dish won the ‘Sargento Chopped At Home Challenge’ and landed me a spot on the TV show Chopped!