Potato-Cheddar Chowder


When I was a kid, I wanted to be a cookbook writer. No lie. I know I’ve told this story before, of how I learned to read with a stack of cookbooks, and have had a few (or more) beside my bed ever since. And how my heroes were Elizabeth Baird and Lucy Waverman and Rose Murray and Jean Paré – all of whom were Canadian home cooks bringing good food to the masses, pre-Food Network and interwebs.

Times have changed… recipes are rarely clipped out of the newspaper anymore, but more of us (so many!) are writing and sharing them. They’re emailed/pinned/liked rather than written on cards to pass along, which is perfectly okay, but I admit I’m a little nostalgic about it. What’s the future of cookbooks? When Elizabeth Baird wrote her first back in 1974, 6 cookbooks were published that year. SIX. These days there are so many, and they’re all beautiful. I can’t keep up. And here I am working on another, which is completely amazing and yet seems a little ridiculous to be writing about something and knowing it won’t work its way through to the masses for a year. Anyway.

potato chowder 2

I have plans here, as soon as this book is submitted and we go to Vegas for a couple days to celebrate next week (which was also a last-minute Christmas gift for Mike) – and I really can hardly wait to get started, or at least focused, on it. Doing renos here are tougher than on your own house (not that I’ve managed either), I swear. But my plan is this: to make this site more of a recipe resource, with a focus on searchability and a few surprises, sort of a cookbook-in-the-works for forever.

What do you think? It’s all about you, you know.

Meanwhile, I’m hammering out an old-school manuscript in 12 point Times font, double-spaced, due in a little over a week. As a result, most of what we’re eating around here are tests made to chip away at the list, or crackers and cheese for dinner. And then there was this soup – a Lynn Crawford formula so simple it barely needs description. What it needs are comfy slippers and stretchy jeans and a couch.


Potato-Cheddar Chowder

Recipe link


January 23, 2014

This is a fairly basic soup recipe, similar to one I used to make quite often with sausage in it, but it comes via the awesome Lynn Crawford.

  • Makes: Serves 4.


2 Tbsp. canola oil

2 Tbsp. butter

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 leek, chopped (white and pale green part only)

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 lb russet or thin-skinned yellow potatoes, diced

Salt and pepper

4 cups (1 L) chicken stock

1 cup heavy (whipping) or 18% coffee cream

1 cup grated old cheddar


1In a medium pot, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, leek, carrots, celery and potatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or so, until the veggies are beginning to brown. Add the stock and bring to a simmer.

2Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the veggies are tender. With a hand-held immersion blender, purée about half of the soup, right in the pot, until smooth. (Alternatively scoop some out and puree it in the blender, then return it to the pot.)

3Stir in the cream and heat through, then stir in the cheddar and remove the pot from the heat. Stir until the cheese melts, then serve hot.

Makes: Serves 4.

About Julie

13 comments on “Potato-Cheddar Chowder

  1. Bonnie White
    January 23, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    This looks like a great winter comfort food to enjoy with some thick chewy crusted bread.

  2. Nicole Boyhouse
    January 24, 2014 at 8:12 am

    There are so many cookbooks, and yet I look forward to your new one. xo

  3. tami
    January 24, 2014 at 8:29 am

    I’m always for improved search ability, but I have to say one of the things Iove about food blogs is the stories attached to recipes. THe original Joy of Cooking had those, and they have been edited out through the years.

    One thing I would love to see is menu suggestions included with recipes. In particular, I often find myself lacking ideas for side dishes / accompanying vegetable dishes for dinner. If the idea is taken further, you could also talk about why a side complements a main dish in terms of taste, texture, and nutrition. I’ve been making dinner for 30 years, but I notice that young friends don’t necessarily know how to organize to prepare 4 dishes for one meal. Then they throw up their hands and order take out.

  4. Anita
    January 24, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Love your site and always save recipes I want to use in a word file – very old fashioned of me. Also still love cookbooks – and like to curl up with a tea and read one like a novel.

    Would like suggestions on how much I can reduce sugar and fat and what results will be. Also additions or substitutions.

  5. Carolyn
    January 24, 2014 at 9:52 am

    I think improving search-ability will be great, I check your blog almost daily, but I don’t necessarily make the item then, or I often make things again so I am often looking for Erin’s sticky chicken, eccles cakes, cranberry loaf, lemon cream biscuits, lemon curd, perogies, lemon rice salad, prime rib, no knead bread, along with so many others. I actually like that your search doesn’t bring you right to the exact recipe, as it is more cookbook like(reminiscent of flipping through as you get closer to the page number). Anyways love your creations and anything you done so far has been wonderful. Don’t mess with checking the archives though, please!

  6. Laurie from Richmond
    January 24, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    I’d love a cookbook that paid attention to lower salt recipes without losing the flavour. Many people use salt for flavour,and don’t know about the herbs and spices that do the same thing without spiking the blood pressure

  7. Julie
    January 24, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    Wow, great ideas you guys! Thanks for the feedback.. I love your insight!

  8. jo
    January 25, 2014 at 9:35 am

    i made this for dinner last night. DELICIOUS

  9. Seonach
    January 25, 2014 at 9:36 am

    I visit your blog daily, and like Carolyn, use it like a cookbook, so anything that helps me search is good. I like searching by ingredient too, so when I have too much of something, I can find a recipe that uses a lot of it up. But what I truly love about your blog is the confidence you give me. I’ve tried so many things I would have been scared of if your words hadn’t convinced me I should try. Also, I love the little bits of information you share about you and your family. Having the personal context for the recipes and the advice is sweet and charming, and connects your readers. Please don’t stop doing that!

  10. Stephanie
    January 26, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    I’m all for improved searchability! I agree, its so hard to reno your blog. My ‘about me’ is a million years old and completely wrong at this point. And yet, I can never get around to updating it.

    Congrats on your book! Can’t wait to check it out :)

  11. Maureen
    January 27, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Have you said what your cookbooks theme is? I love all your books so can not wait! If you need recipe testers we are here for you!

  12. vivian
    February 29, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    I made this for dinner tonight. It’s cold and freezing rain with a forecast of up to 30 cm of snow tomorrow, so soup was a necessity. It is rich and lovely and I could eat a lot of it. Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Julie
      March 1, 2016 at 8:31 pm

      So great to hear it!!

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