Between the chilly nights, harvesting the garden, canning and freezing, back-to-school shopping and the sweet smell of football in the air, I must admit that I am in complete autumn mode. It is a wonderful season for the foodie that brings pears, figs, pumpkins, cranberries, sweet potatoes and a host of other greens, yellows, oranges and reds and inspires warmer and heartier dishes. Yes, I realize that autumn is a month away but, in my heart, I cannot help but be there.
I wanted to use some of the cabbage and sweet corn harvested from the garden for dinner. My husband's favorite use for cabbage is in egg rolls, which I am making tonight as a snack for our fantasy football draft (wish me luck!). He suggested using it in a chowder with some sausage, so we decided on German sausage chowder for dinner, which happens to be a perfect meal for my autumn mind. This chowder is delicious, hearty and full of flavor. Serve it with a side of crusty bread and brace yourself for comfort in a bowl.
- 1 lb sausage, cut into 1/2-inch thick pieces
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 c onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 c chicken broth
- 2 1/2 c water
- 5 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 small head cabbage, about 4 cups
- 1 1/2 c corn
- 1 c whole milk
- 1 tbsp fresh (or 1 tsp dried) parsley
- 1/2 tbsp fresh (or 1/2 tsp dried) thyme leaves
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, for a little kick)
- 2 c shredded Swiss cheese
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and allow it to cook for 5 minutes. Add the sausage and brown for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the flour for 30 seconds and deglaze with the broth, scraping up the bits. Pour in the water.
Stir in the potatoes and cabbage (the cabbage will cook down). Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the corn, milk, parsley, thyme and optional cayenne pepper and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.