For a cold winter evening, there’s nothing like a bowl of warm, hearty soup. Or in this case, potato-meatball chowder. This dish is an original, in that it combines parts of recipes with titles such as “potato soup” and “meatball chowder” and various combinations of those words. A lot of potato soups will feature potatoes, onions, ham, and cheese, in a milk or cream base. Often, the recipe will also add one additional vegetable, such as carrots or corn.
My version uses a local, spicy sausage that I get at Miller Farms store. They usually sell it as links in casings, but this most recent batch I was able to get as just a pound of the ground meat with no casings, which actually makes it easier to use in making meatballs, since I don’t have to take the time to remove the meat from the casings. But you can use pretty much whatever ground meat you want. Many meatball recipes will use all sorts of ground meats, singly or in combinations, and encourage you to add your own spices and seasonings.
Potato-meatball chowder recipes
The goal for this version of potato-meatball chowder, though, was to make it as easily as possible by getting already prepared and/or combined ingredients. That means, this is definitely not a “scratch” recipe, but it easily could be if you wanted to do it all yourself. You can make the meatballs in advance, which is what I did, and then put together the rest of the recipe when you’re ready to make the dish.
Yield 13 meatballs
This is a simple recipe for meatballs, which can be readily adapted for a variety of dishes. In this version, no seasonings or spices are added to the mixture, because it uses pre-seasoned sausage meat.
1⁄2 cup panko bread crumbs
just enough milk to wet crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1 lb. ground sausage (hot & spicy)
Pre-heat oven to 400°.
Pour 1⁄2 cup panko bread crumbs in mixing bowl.
Add just enough milk to wet the bread crumbs.
Beat 1 egg and add it to the mixture of bread crumbs and milk.
Add 1 lb. ground sausage and mix thoroughly, forming a uniform mixture of bread crumbs, egg, milk and meat.
To form meat into balls, scoop out 2 tbs of your mixture per meatball and roll into a ball shape.
Cover roasting tray with nonstick foil, and arrange meatballs evenly across the pan. Alternatively, you can use a wire rack over a tray, or you can cook the meatballs in a frying pan.
Cook for ~20 minutes 400°. Test the temperature of the meatballs with an instant-read thermometer, making sure the internal temperature reaches at least 160°.
Let rest until cool. Place in storage container, such as a plastic bag, and refrigerate until ready to use.
Yield 4 bowls
A quick and simple hearty chowder featuring potatoes and onions with mixed vegetables and spicy meatballs.
4 tbsp bacon pieces
~1 dozen meatballs
1 1⁄2 cup milk
2 cup hot water
2 cups mixed vegetables frozen (peas, carrots, corn, green beans)
1 1⁄2 cup chicken stock
1⁄2 cup All Purpose flour (for thickening)
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 bag, 20 oz., Simply Potatoes, diced potatoes with onions
To a saucepan, add milk, water, and chicken stock. Put on medium heat.
To the liquids, add garlic and mixed vegetables.
Empty bag of Simply Potatoes and onions into microwave safe bowl and heat for four minutes (you could just put it in the pot, but this just makes it a bit quicker). Add heated potatoes and onions to the saucepan.
Cook mixture in saucepan until potatoes are tender all the way through; approximately 20 – 30 minutes.
Warm the meatballs and bacon pieces in the microwave for a couple of minutes. If you plan ahead, you can remove them from the refrigerator and place them on the counter an hour or so before you begin making the chowder; the goal is not to be putting cold items into a hot mixture.
Put the warmed meats into the pan and let everything reach a uniform temperature. Perhaps another 5 – 10 minutes.
Ladle into bowls. Serve with warm bread and beverages of your choice.