Smoked Kielbasa, Beer, and Vegetable Chowder

When the weather’s cold, the best dinner are the warm and comforting ones. 

I mean, the idea of this is nothing revolutionary: a big bowl of any comfort food on a wintery day makes the whole house feel cozy and warm.

But there’s only so many times I can make a pasta or casserole, or toss something in the crockpot.

So this time, I got a little creative. And the result is this smoky kielbasa, beer, and vegetable chowder!

Literally the most perfect cold weather comfort food! She gives instructions on how to use different kids of ingredients too, like changing up the veggies and using different meats and what to do if you have no cream. Made this easy chowder when we were snowed in last week and it was really good!

In this recipe, I used carrots, onions, and celery. But you could also throw in a handful of spinach, some frozen or canned corn, chopped rutabega – basically, whatever you’ve got on hand.

And if you’re short on cream? Make a separate pan of toasted roux by cooking together butter and flour until they’re light brown, then slowly whisk in milk and add the finished product to the soup after the stock/broth.

It’ll have a similar texture, though not as creamy as using cream. I mean, obviously. But if it doesn’t mean you have to run to the grocery store in a freaking blizzard and pick up a carton of cream, then that’s a good thing.


Related: Winter Salad with a Pomegranate Citrus Vinaigrette


Literally the most perfect cold weather comfort food! She gives instructions on how to use different kids of ingredients too, like changing up the veggies and using different meats and what to do if you have no cream. Made this easy chowder when we were snowed in last week and it was really good!

No kielbasa in the house? Use bratwurst! Or any kind of smoked or cured sausage, really. Every year my dad gets a smoked venison summer sausage that would be banging in this soup. Pick a sausage that has a bit of body and a good amount of flavor.

This is a bossy soup and it needs building blocks that speak loudly, if that makes sense!

And as for the beer – use what you’ve got. Try not to go crazy dry or hoppy here; something with a smooth and nutty flavor, like a brown ale or a mellow IPA. Think of something that would complement whichever sausage you would use, and go from there.



Smoked Kielbasa, Beer, and Vegetable Chowder

Ingredients

Dairy

butter3 tablespoons
heavy cream1 cup

Produce

russet potato1 pound
onion1 large
carrot2 large
celery2 large stalks

Extra Items

kielbasa or Polish sausge2 pounds

Dry Goods

brown ale beer12 ounces
chicken broth3 cups

Instructions

Stovetop Instructions

  1. Dice the potatoes, onions, carrots, and celery. 
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter. 
  3. Add the vegetables and cook until they have started to soften, about 5-8 minutes.
  4. Add the beer and deglaze the pan by scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to release any brown bits stuck to the pan.
  5. Dice the kielbasa and add to the pot, stirring to combine with the vegetables.
  6. Add the broth and cream and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  7. Cook 15-20 minutes on low, stirring occasionally, until the soup has reduced and thickened slightly.
  8. Remove from the heat and serve hot.

Instant Pot Instructions:

  1. Dice the potatoes, onions, carrots, and celery. 
  2. Dice the kielbasa.
  3. Add the vegetables, kielbasa, beer and broth to the Instant Pot and secure the lid. 
  4. Cook on High Pressure for 10 minutes with a natural pressure release. 
  5. Remove the lid and press the “saute” button. 
  6. Remove 2 tablespoons of liquid.
  7. Mix the liquid with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and stir back into the pot. 
  8. Add the cream and stir to combine. 
  9. Let the mixture cook on “saute” for 5-8 minutes, until the soup has thickened. 
  10. Turn off the heat and serve hot. 

Slow Cooker Instructions:

  1. Dice the potatoes, onions, carrots, and celery. 
  2. Dice the kielbasa. 
  3. Add the vegetables, kielbasa, beer, and broth to the slow cooker and secure the lid. 
  4. Cook on low for 4 hours, high for 6, until the vegetables are soft and the beer has cooked off. 
  5. Turn off the heat and stir in the cream. 
  6. Serve hot. 

Prep Plan

Prep It for Later

Dice the potatoes, onions, carrots, celery, and kielbasa and transfer to a resealable bag or container.
You’ll need: 1 bag or container of diced vegetables and diced kielbasa
Prepare from prepped: Combine chopped ingredients with beer and broth in the cooking vessel of your choice, and cook according to the instructions.
When cooked, stir in the cream and serve hot.