dreamy winter vegetable chowder w/ mustard, lemon + crispy cabbage

dreamy winter vegetable chowder w/ mustard, lemon + crispy cabbage // www.thefirstmess.compin it!dreamy winter vegetable chowder w/ mustard, lemon + crispy cabbage // www.thefirstmess.compin it!for a dreamy winter vegetable chowder // www.thefirstmess.compin it!for a dreamy winter vegetable chowder // @thefirstmesspin it!80pin it!
Happy new year to you! Hugs and positive thoughts going out as we all get another beautiful chance to start again. I hope everyone got a solid stretch of personal downtime over the holidays–to read, create, travel, have a long bath, cook, bake, play, be in nature or just do absolutely nothing. I got in a good mix of all those things and I can’t tell you how vibrant/fortunate I feel because of it. A clear calendar that makes way for just being and doing as the inclination strikes has a powerful restorative effect on your stillness of mind and overall future outlook. This is most especially true if you do creative work I think–time away from screens or just rest in any form lets you get outside of your own head for a moment. This mindful work and rest cycle has proven to be an important and productive way of life for me. Having said that, I’m excited to be back here. I’ve got a lot of delicious things in the works, all scribbly ideas on scrap pages or in semi-organized Word documents.

If you read any number of blogs (food or otherwise), it only seems natural to talk about hopes, new ambitions and the wildest dreams for the year ahead around this time (and to also make a bangin’ salad with lots of fresh things–I swear this is always my favourite week on the lifestyle-focused internet). I’ll spare you that today by simply saying that on a worldly scale, I always hope for peace and more positive union, and for my own path? I’ll work to eliminate fear as an entity through the sheer act of trying and doing. This is a net that casts large for sure. Fear of failure is one of those things that bundles itself in with excessive worrying, self-doubt, negative thought patterns, and lowered sense of worth. If you’re a normal person that feels, I think you can relate to having been caught up with that gross clique before. I’m a grown-ass lady that just doesn’t have time for that stuff anymore.

But also? We adopted a sweet, playful and adorably clumsy rescue pup over the holidays, and her deeply sincere and unconditional love has been keeping me in the bright light so hard. She’s made the turn from timid and fearful over to constant companion and champion-level cuddler in record time. She also grunts a bit when she gives her little kisses. I couldn’t be more in love. There’s a few extra things to handle with Cleo in our little family now, but I feel like my mind is less inclined to go in the direction of worry and doubt since we brought her home. Staying calm and positively focused for her sake is way more important. It’s been a win-win. If you’re thinking about adding a pet to your family, I would gently nudge you in the direction of adopting. It’s worth it! We found our girl through this organization if you’re Canadian and thinking about it.

So now I have a little furry pal that follows me around and takes naps by the kitchen heat vent when I’m cooking. She came all the way from Louisiana so I’m guessing she’s used to just a touch more warmth. The other day we were in the kitchen together while I was fixing up this little chowder number and her little wet sniffer was going crazy! I knew I wanted this to be thick and stew-like with all of the creamy-delicious winter-white veg I could get a handle on. This is all leeks, celery root, cauliflower and parsnips, but turnips, new potatoes and kohl rabi would be excellent additions too. I rely on pungent grainy mustard and bright lemon to really lift the creamy sweetness of the veg. Old Bay seasoning comes in with its celery-saltiness, and then there’s thyme and tons of garlic too. Just puréeing half of the mixture gives us that thick and luscious chowder-vibe we’re after. It’s like magic. Healthy and clean, but it totally sticks to your ribs too (you know I would never go all “detox” on you guys). I roast some cabbage until I get golden brown edges of sweetness and just plunk little tangles of it on top of hot bowlfuls. It feels sauerkraut-ish, which is too good to pass on with the mustard addition.

See you all next week. I still can’t believe it’s 2015 aaah! xo

for a dreamy winter vegetable chowder // @thefirstmesspin it!choppinpin it!dreamy winter vegetable chowder w/ mustard, lemon + crispy cabbage // www.thefirstmess.compin it!dreamy winter vegetable chowder w/ mustard, lemon + crispy cabbage // www.thefirstmess.compin it!Cleopin it!
dreamy winter vegetable chowder w/ mustard, lemon + crispy cabbage
print the recipe here!
serves: 3-4
notes: Feel free to mix it up vegetable-wise, maybe swapping in some squash, sweet potatoes and carrots for more of a deep orange chowder-ish experience? You could add some cooked white beans for an extra hit of protein too. Also, be aware of your the salt additions. I find the mustard, Old Bay and lemon make for a strong salty vibe from the start, so I would advise on tasting as you go.

chowder ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large cooking onion, small dice (1 3/4 cups)
1 leek, small dice (white + light green part only)
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
4-5 thyme sprigs, leaves removed and chopped
1-2 parsnips, peeled and chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 celery root, peeled and chopped (1 1/2 cups)
2 heaped cups of small-chopped cauliflower florets
1 1/2 tbsp grainy mustard
salt + pepper to taste
2 tsp nutritional yeast (optional, but I love it)
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning (Buy it or make it yourself!)
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 1/2 cups vegetable stock

crispy cabbage ingredients:
1/4 head of a green cabbage, cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 tsp olive oil
salt + pepper
optional seasonings: Old Bay, celery salt, caraway seeds, nigella seeds, za’atar etc.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the diced onions to the pot and sauté until soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add the leeks and continue to sauté until the leeks are soft, about 4 minutes more. Add the minced garlic and thyme to the pot and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the chopped parsnips, celery root, and cauliflower florets to the pot and stir to coat in the oil. Add the grainy mustard, salt + pepper to taste, and Old Bay. Stir to coat all the vegetables in spice. Add the lmeon juice to the pot and stir. Add the vegetable stock to the pot, stir again, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove the lid and lower heat to simmer. Let the chowder cook and bubble until the parsnips and celery root pieces are tender, about 15-18 minutes.

Ladle half of the chowder into an upright blender and carefully purée until smooth. Pour puréed portion of chowder back into the soup pot and bring it back to a boil. Check the chowder for seasoning, adjust and serve hot.

While the chowder is simmering/cooking, make the crispy cabbage. Place the sliced cabbage onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Pour the 2 tsp of olive oil over top, season with salt and pepper and add any spices you like. Toss lightly to combine and spread cabbage out evenly on the baking sheet. Slide the sheet into the oven and roast the cabbage for 13-17 minutes, or until browned on the edges and crispy in parts. You’ll have to flip the cabbage around a few times while it’s roasting. Serve warm cabbage on top of the dreamy winter vegetable chowder.

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  • Kathryn07/01/2015 - 5:51 am

    The happiest of new years to you Laura! I’m glad you got some downtime over the holidays and I can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store for you (and for us!). Plus that cute pup = the best way to start the year ever. This sounds like a perfect comforting and nourishing bowl of food – that mustard/lemon combo with its warmth and brightness just feels so right doesn’t it?ReplyCancel

  • Soupe | Pearltrees07/01/2015 - 6:05 am

    […] Dreamy winter vegetable chowder w/ mustard, lemon + crispy cabbage. Happy new year to you! […]ReplyCancel

  • Lucy @SupergoldenBakes07/01/2015 - 7:21 am

    Glad to have discovered your blog – beautiful photography and inspiring recipes! I see I have a log to catching up to do. Happy 2015!ReplyCancel

  • Lynsey | lynseylovesfood07/01/2015 - 8:20 am

    Puppies, soup and beautiful winter light.. So much goodness in this post!! Happy New Year!!! xoReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar07/01/2015 - 8:26 am

    Oh man. This makes me want to go outside in the cold so that I can come back in with rosy cheeks and a bowl of this!ReplyCancel

  • valentina | sweet kabocha07/01/2015 - 9:03 am

    This soup seems so creamy! Weather here is not so cold as in Canada – thankfully – but I am a cold-hater…hot soups could be my daily food :)
    Ps : Cleo is too pretty ^_^

  • Arlene07/01/2015 - 9:56 am

    This is perfect for me to make right now, my frig is always full of some kind of soup/stew make a new batch every Sunday for my lunch all week! Need a change from Quinoa/lentil (I love cabbage). Thank you! Your new baby is adorable.ReplyCancel

  • Sini07/01/2015 - 10:39 am

    What a chowder! I’m really looking forward to making a big pot of this goodness. And hello there, Cleo! Furry pals bring so much joy and peace to one’s life. We adopted a little kitten over a year ago so I can totally relate to your feelings. Wishing you a glorious 2015, Laura! May your wishes come true and may your hearth be free of anxiety and fear. (Gosh, I know that feeling; I should start trying to eliminate fear in my life. It’s a grueling companion.) xxReplyCancel

  • Ashley07/01/2015 - 10:53 am

    As beautiful as ever. I always find comfort in your words, but you know this. I took time off but kind of feel like I need a re-do because part of me couldn’t fully relax for about 85% of the time. Still had an absolute lovely time with my parents while they visited and definitely gave my eyes a break from the screen, however, I just haven’t been hit with that “fresh–new year” feeling yet. Maybe next week? ;) Your pup is adorable. So glad she’s keeping you calm. The texture contrast of this soup looks AMAZE. Hearts, girl.ReplyCancel

  • Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth07/01/2015 - 11:02 am

    What a darling, sweet dog! It’s always nice to have a little helper in the kitchen. Love love love this soup!ReplyCancel

  • KittNoir07/01/2015 - 11:08 am

    Looks so delicious!ReplyCancel

  • Jessie Snyder07/01/2015 - 11:12 am

    This whole post is beautiful. I love your words and this gorgeous recipe. Especially the kitchen photo where you can see the snow outside! YAY snow :). Congrats on your new pup and a merry happy 2015!ReplyCancel

  • Grace07/01/2015 - 11:35 am

    Puuuppy!!! Such a cutie! That picture of her is adorable – warms the heart right up, even on the coldest of days! Happy new year to you Laura, you beautiful grown-ass lady! ;)ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth07/01/2015 - 11:38 am

    Yeses all around. That pup!!!!! Love the call on fear –– I’ve totally been having a few grown-ass lady talks like that with myself lately. And hurray for not being de-toxy.

    Sending New Year’s love from VA––this feels like a big year and I totally can’t wait to see all the great stuff coming next for you.ReplyCancel

  • Malin07/01/2015 - 12:03 pm

    Looks amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Andrea07/01/2015 - 1:06 pm

    Your pup is breakin’ my heart. Can’t imagine not having rescued my little ragamuffin a few years ago. They’ll change your life with that unconditional love. You can see it in her eyes already :)

    And the soup– so wonderful to feel renewed inspiration with wintery produce. Can almost feel it cutting through the cold-ass weather ’round here.ReplyCancel

  • Caitlin07/01/2015 - 1:19 pm

    cleo is adorable. there is nothing like the companionship a pup brings into your life. their love is unending and unconditional.

    in other news, this chowder looks so good and i’m totally making it. one problem- i don’t care much for parsnips. will i be able to taste them in here?ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright07/01/2015 - 1:26 pm

      Caitlin! I’m honestly not crazy for parsnips either, but felt like I needed to use some up that I had leftover from a freelance job. They didn’t seem as cloyingly sweet in this soup/stew to me, what with all the mustard and nutritional yeast. And the simmering time makes them nice and tender for sure. You can always just sub in the same amount of cubed potatoes, more celery root etc. if you’re weary :)

  • Libby07/01/2015 - 1:37 pm

    This soup looks like hearty perfection. What a great way to use those CSA veggies that I am less familiar with! Your new dog looks so sweet and tugs at my heart to get a little pup for myself.ReplyCancel

  • Eileen07/01/2015 - 3:16 pm

    Yes please! This looks like the most delicious and warming soup for a chilly winter night. I just want to climb into the bowl and roll around. :)ReplyCancel

  • Katie @ Whole Nourishment07/01/2015 - 3:35 pm

    Yep, this is the epitome of the perfect winter meal. Love the crispy cabbage and that sweet pup!ReplyCancel

  • Blaine Arin07/01/2015 - 4:14 pm

    “Detox” in air quotes. Ha, love it. Looks incredible! And your pup is adorable. Those soulful eyes!ReplyCancel

  • Your posts always make me smile and salivate! The soup looks delicious, and just what we need this week in Ontario. Happy New Year + congrats on your new pup!ReplyCancel

  • Trang's corner07/01/2015 - 10:04 pm

    I’m so excited to try this recipe. So delicious! So inspirational!

    Happy new year!

  • Trish08/01/2015 - 12:07 am

    This soup does look dreamy! I love the addition of mustard. And congrats on your puppy!

  • Nissrine08/01/2015 - 3:45 am

    Happy New Year! Love the sound and look of this and I’m all over your suggestion to go the Orange route, will be trying it for sure. Thanks for the inspiration as always. We were in Canada visiting my family for the holidays and left just before temps hit Antarctic levels. Thankfully it’s warmer in Italy, but the dampness here really gets inside you, so I’m all about hot soups and chowders this time of year.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer @foodprocessor0708/01/2015 - 7:22 am

    Love this recipe. Simple but at the same time would not mind having that for lunch every day this week.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica DeMarra08/01/2015 - 11:07 am

    I am always try to convince my boyfriend to eat more soup with me. He is weird and doesn’t enjoy pureed soup since he claims to like “solid” food better. I think this recipe will make a soup-lover out of him. All the best in the new year with your new furry friend!ReplyCancel

  • Christine08/01/2015 - 2:47 pm

    Can’t wait to try this one! I just saw chowder while watching food tv and have been craving hearty, warming soups since. Perfect timing :)

    Also – big happy congratulations on your adoption! She looks like such a sweet heart! My family adopted a 2 year old boxer last year and it’s like she’s always been there now. It’s amazing to see them become comfortable after sometimes really sad pasts. Happy 2015 Laura!ReplyCancel

  • Emily08/01/2015 - 9:44 pm

    Looks heavenly. I’ve always wondered about roasted cabbage, but never actually tried it myself. What a wonderful garnish to such a beautiful soup!ReplyCancel

  • Shannon Murphy08/01/2015 - 10:31 pm

    This is perfect. I remixed this one a bit, went the mustard/white wine/smoked paprika route and after taste-testing I couldn’t help but dose it with heavy cream. But yes.ReplyCancel

  • […] cold, I think I’m allowed two links to soup – especially when they look this […]ReplyCancel

  • Sherrie09/01/2015 - 2:09 pm

    Dearest Laura, I find solace in these words. Cleo is the cutest little thing I ever did see!! I’m so happy for you guys, how much fun is a new family addition. And dreamy this bowl of chowder is indeed, wowza that light. xo sherrieReplyCancel

  • Julianne | Radishes on Toast09/01/2015 - 10:06 pm

    Wow, this is packed with my favorite things and looks exactly like what I’d want to serve my friends on a chilly night!ReplyCancel

  • […] winter vegetable chowder. […]ReplyCancel

  • Liren10/01/2015 - 1:30 pm

    Happy New Year, Laura, and welcome home to your sweet new pup! What a lucky one (both of you!) – I imagine there will be some delicious scraps going her way. This bowl of chowder is just my kind of thing in the new year, hearty and comforting.ReplyCancel

  • Liz @ Floating Kitchen10/01/2015 - 3:50 pm

    Ohhh….that pup. Adorable! Congrats! I adopted my Sheri-dog from a shelter 4 years ago and it was pretty much the best decision I ever made. I can’t imagine my life without her and I can’t imagine ever buying a dog now. She loves me in a way that no other animal ever has. And this soup – gorgeous! I’m freezing my bum off over here, so I’m in need of a big bowl of this!ReplyCancel

  • Nik@ABrownTable11/01/2015 - 10:12 am

    Happy belated New Year, Laura! Your new pup is adorable and I am sure you guys will have wonderful time together. The best thing about winter is looking forward to delicious bowls of soup like this one, love it.ReplyCancel

  • Active Vegetarian11/01/2015 - 4:18 pm

    Your site is beautiful!! Love all the recipe ideas and more :) Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • […] This winter vegetable chowder. All I want to eat this time of year. […]ReplyCancel

  • Shaun11/01/2015 - 9:08 pm

    I made this tonight and it’s great! I really enjoyed the addition of the crispy cabbage. Next time I would add half the lemon juice and then later add more to taste, since the mustard is already tangy. It was fun to use an array of winter produce!ReplyCancel

  • Abby12/01/2015 - 11:37 am

    I made this last night and it was delicious! Perfect for a chilly winter night. I have never used celery root before! Delicious!ReplyCancel

  • […] they come in all shapes and sizes and right now {for obvious reasons} I’m super into them. Laura’s bowl of dreamy wonder will be one the first things I make – as soon as my kitchen magically sets […]ReplyCancel

  • rachel13/01/2015 - 12:55 pm

    this was delicious! did it with more of all the vegetables and it turned out wonderfully. added a dollop of greek yogurt on top of each bowl. yummmmy!ReplyCancel

  • Soups/Salads | Vegetal Matters14/01/2015 - 8:57 pm

    […] Winter Vegetable Chowder with Mustard, Lemon, and Crispy Cabbage – I’ve been drooling over this soup since Laura posted it last week. Such interesting vegetables and flavor combinations! It did not disappoint, with brightness from the lemon and mustard that we need on chilly days. The cabbage topping was my favorite part, which I can foresee on many a future soup. Pairs very well with white wine. […]ReplyCancel

  • […] More comfort: Dreamy winter vegetable chowder […]ReplyCancel

  • allison17/01/2015 - 4:49 pm

    Happy New Year to you and so great about Cleo, I have 3 rescues now and I wish you all the best with her. They rescue you right back. I love this chowder! It’s simmering now on the stove, smells delicious( also love the hint of lemon and grainy mustard flavor) and I have the cabbage cooking up with Old Bay, a good crusty bread and I’m all set! Thanks so much again, I’m so glad I found your blog!ReplyCancel

  • Kate23/01/2015 - 1:44 pm

    Oh gosh this looks so good! So creamy and comforting, yet dairy-free (hubba…)ReplyCancel

  • […] love this winter vegetable chowder, oh boy. this roasted nourish bowl with lemon tahini dressing. this INSANE boston cream pie french […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Dreamy Winter Vegetable Chowder by, The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

  • Shannon27/01/2015 - 10:53 pm

    Dear Laura, I just discovered your blog through my friend and I think it’s my new favourite. I browsed all your soup/stew posts today at work (plus your gorgeous photos)…There are so many recipes I want to try. Tonight, I cooked this chowder and ……it is delicious! Thanks so much. And congrats on your puppy… Best from Toronto… ShannonReplyCancel

  • […] week. And I definitely want to make this butternut squash soup before spring arrives too. OH and this winter chowder! I made this mushroom soup yesterday for dinner this week… REALLY excited about […]ReplyCancel

  • […] the recipe here – Via: […]ReplyCancel

  • jen18/04/2015 - 3:25 pm

    I made this a few weeks ago and it was sooo yummy I hid it from my boyfriend because I wanted it all to myself! Making it again tonight :)ReplyCancel

  • Lily12/01/2016 - 10:08 pm

    This is delicious! I love it. I was looking for a different kind of soup that I could warm up with in this freezing Minnesota winter, and this was perfect! A nice change from the bean/kale/cumin soups I usually go for. Thank you for sharing it!ReplyCancel

  • KayN03/02/2016 - 5:01 pm

    I made this with cauliflower, Yukon Gold potato, and sweet potato (what I had on hand), but otherwise as-written. It was FANTASTIC – I’d never thought of mustard as a chowder ingredient but it works wonderfully. Thanks for a great recipe!ReplyCancel

  • Kinsey13/02/2016 - 8:28 pm

    Laura, this chowder rocks. I’ve made it a few times in the last year, and it’s so comforting. I was initially hooked by that roasted cabbage! Mmmmmhmm, yes.

    I don’t see a mention of when to add the nutritional yeast in your recipe, but I’ve been adding it with the surrounding spices without issue. Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • […] being a little closer to beating the cabbage influx. I went home that night and I remembered this recipe by the wonderful Laura Wright that had appeared in my Pinterest last summer (when it’s […]ReplyCancel

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