vegetarian pantry "chowder" (a recipe post)

i stumbled upon and was immediately inspired by this post.  the ingredients sounded like stuff we already had in the pantry and we both enjoyed.  it sounded so easy i had to ask myself "how can i make this even easier?".  what follows are my ingredients and directions as i made it.  i obviously altered the original recipe some and would encourage you to do so to your taste and to include what you have on hand.

  • crockpot 
  • two cans of cream of mushroom soup
  • two cans of water
  • four medium red potatoes, skin intact & a pot to cook them in.  also, a strainer.
  • one cup of chopped broccoli (i had frozen)
  • one cup of chopped cauliflower (i had frozen)
  • four celery stalks diced up as tiny as i could make them
  • one cup-ish of chopped carrot
  • about a palm sized brick of cheddar cheese

start by plugging in the crockpot and set to the highest heat. add the soup and water.  stir.
i got to work on the potatoes first because i wanted to boil them before adding them to the mix.  i don't like my soups and stews overly starchy   chop chop chop leaving the skin on for a hearty rustic potato.  leave them to boil while you do the rest.
chop all your other veg while the potato boils. add to crockpot.
grate the cheese directly into the mix.  i was originally going to use flour but decided i liked the idea of cream, mushroom and cheesy goodness.  it worked.
once your potatoes have boiled add them to a strainer and rinse away the starch.  add it to the crockpot.
leave for at least four hours, preferably more, to allow it to thicken, the flavours to mix and the veg to soften.

i served it in mugs and seasoned with pepper and a bit more grated cheese.  it was a hit!  for the next time brian has requested some onion and i would like to try it with some corn for sweetness.  and more cheese.  i'm terrible.

**although this recipe is technically vegetarian i was thinking it could be altered to vegan by switching out the soup for a vegan veggie broth and thickening to "chowderness" using flour.  i also hear good things about daiya cheese products.  vegetarian & vegan readers, i would love your feedback.