Follow the Follower: Is it Chowder?


So, my hubbie brought home a recipe from a coworker one day that was a take off on the Olive Garden‘s “Tuscan Soup”. I am not a frequenter of the Olive Garden, but had already had a recreation of this soup at a friend’s house and enjoyed it thoroughly. We started making it more or less from the recipe and have loved it for over a year now. Sometime in the last couple of months we lost the recipe. So now that I am making it from out of my head, and have tweaked a little here and there, and this last time we made it, the soup came out the best ever, I’m pretending it’s my recipe version.

I will share the deliciousness with you post jump, and you can help me come up with my own name for it and answer the question, “Is it a chowder?”


(Right, Garden Fresh Kale)

Spicy Sausage Chowder with Kale?

To me, something is a chowder if it has some sort of salty pig grease in it, usually salt pork or bacon, but in this case sausage, and then potatoes, onions and creamy broth. What do ya think?

:Saute one large diced onion and 3-6 cloves of minced garlic in some EVOO in a stock pot. Add 6-8 cups of chicken broth and 5-6 diced potatoes. The farmer’s market new potatoes in this batch made it! Bring to a boil, and simmer until taters are tender. Meanwhile, in a frying pan, saute up a package (about a pound) of extra hot italian sausage in bite size pieces. Also wash and prep a large bunch of kale by stacking the leaves and cutting 1/2 inch slices. When your potatoes are tender, add the browned sausage and prepped kale and simmer a few minutes until kale is wilted and tender. Pour in about 1 1/2 cups half&half (from your local farm), and a couple palmfuls of minced fresh lemon thyme and rosemary from your garden and voila! Soup’s done!


(Above, Variegated Lemon Thyme)

***I have subbed a lot of different kinds of greens in this soup, and all are delicious; beet greens, spinach, broccoli greens, whatevs. You’ll also notice that I didn’t finish off with a seasoning of S&P. You can if you want, but I find there is usually a nice enough kick from the sausage, and enough saltiness from the sausage and broth that I don’t want to add anything else.

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  • Yvo July 21, 2008  

    Potatoes are a must in any chowder, imo. So I think you can call this a chowder… (despite being from NYC, I don’t really like Manhattan clam chowder… and I, too, think of chowder as being creamy white.. and prefer mine thick enough to coat a spoon at least… yumm…)

  • gansie July 21, 2008  

    hmm. no clue what makes a chowder a chowder. i’m still unsure what makes something a “salad.” how is cold pasta suddenly deemed a salad?

  • Mdlt'la July 21, 2008  

    I think chowder has to contain flour – or something similarly starchy – in the broth… I think….

  • MissGinsu July 22, 2008  

    I agree with Yvo… potatoes make the chowder a chowder. And I really think a chowder should have some kind of clam/fish element to it (corn chowder notwithstanding), but I’m kind of a purist in that regard.

    Looks great, though. This dish really reminds me of an Irish colcannon.

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