I’m definitely becoming a farmer’s market addict. This week I came home with so many goodies, I planned almost my entire menu around it. A rainy evening was the perfect time to pull out my onion chowder recipe. And it was the optimal showcase for the spring onions, chives and fingerling potatoes I bought at the market this weekend.
If you aren’t familiar with spring onions, they look like green onions on steroids. I usually only see them at farmer’s markets and usually only in the spring. I’m only guessing here, but that might be how they got their name. In any case, if you can’t find them, or if it’s not spring, you can use leeks instead. With spring onions, you can use all of the white and green parts, just like with a green onion. With leeks, just the white and light green parts. Really, I think with this recipe, any combination of any types of onions you like would work beautifully. As for the potatoes, I used fingerlings because I had them (and because they don’t require peeling!), but feel free to substitute any potato you like or have on hand.
For a vegetarian version, I would suggest simply eliminating the pancetta. Add a little liquid smoke to replicate the smoky flavor if desired. Use veggie broth instead of chicken.
Four Onion Chowder
(Adapted from Food 52 three onion chowder recipe)
2 tbsp. butter
4 oz. pancetta, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 bunch spring onions (or leeks)
2 stalks celery, sliced or chopped
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels
2-3 cups chicken broth
1 pint fingerling potatoes, diced (about 2 cups)
2 cups half & half
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh chives, chopped
Salt & pepper
In a soup pot or dutch oven melt butter and cook pancetta. When some of the fat has rendered from the pancetta, toss in the onions and shallots. Saute until tender, but don’t brown or your soup will be brown. Add garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Stir to combine. Add chicken broth. If you like a thicker chowder, just add 2 cups. If you like it a little soupier, add 3 or more. Add corn. Bring to a boil. Add half & half and potatoes. Turn heat off. Cover and let sit for at least 30 minutes until potatoes are tender. Add chives, parsley, salt & pepper. If needed, turn on the heat for a few minutes to make it hotter, but don’t bring to a boil. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.