Cube it! Cut all veggies into consistently sized cubes to promote even cooking. If the vegetables are cut into different sizes and shapes, they will not cook evenly and the chowder can end up chock-full of under-and-over-cooked chunks! Get creative with the vegetables you choose for your chowder; corn, potato and carrot are delicious with the addition of sweet potatoes and/or leeks!
Lower the Fat! To make a creamy-tasting chowder that isn't overflowing with fatty cream and whole milk, consider using combinations of milk products. When a recipe calls for cream or whole milk, substitute half of the recommended amount of cream with low-fat or non-fat milk. Experiment with different amounts of cream, milk, reduced-fat milk and fat-free evaporated milk until you find the consistency and taste you desire. If you feel that the low-fat milk products have thinned your soup too drastically, you can always add a dollop or two of sour cream (low-fat or fat-free) to create a nice creamy texture.
Seafood Chowders. Don't be afraid to experiment with lobster, crab and other types of fish like red snapper or halibut. To avoid overcooking the seafood, make it the final ingredient that you add and cook only until the seafood is flaky. When making clam chowder, be very careful to avoid boiling the clams. Clams should be lightly simmered until they reach the consistency you desire.
SAVE SOME FOR ME- Quick tips for freezing and reheating soups
Freezing Soups and Stocks
1. Before freezing, refrigerate the soup until the fat rises to the surface. Skim the fat and discard bones, bay leaves or any other ingredients that will not be eaten.
2. Divide the soup into portions to serve two, four or more, depending on the number of people you are most likely to be feeding at one time.
3. To save freezer space, store the soup food storage heavy-duty resealable plastic bags, stacking them in the freezer. Be sure to label each bag with its contents.
Microwaving Leftover Soups
Leftover soup can be a quick and healthy lunch when you're on the go. Place 1 cup of soup in a 2-cup microwavable cup or bowl. Heat at HIGH 1 to 1-1/2 minutes or until hot; stir.