Southwestern Vegetable Chowder

September/October 2014

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In this healthy vegetable chowder recipe, heavy cream is replaced with milk and flour-thickened vegetable broth and we keep sodium amounts reasonable with lower-sodium broth. By making your own creamy vegetarian chowder, you’ll save up to 300 calories, 20 grams of saturated fat and 500 milligrams of sodium per serving compared to many store-bought or restaurant chowders.

Southwestern Vegetable Chowder

Makes: 6 servings

Serving Size: about 1 1/2 cups

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups diced sweet potato
  • 2 medium poblanos or red or green bell peppers, diced
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
  • Cilantro for garnish
  • Toasted pepitas for garnish
  • Lime wedges for garnish


  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and celery; cook, stirring frequently, until softened and beginning to brown, 3 to 6 minutes. Sprinkle flour, chili powder, cumin, oregano and salt over the vegetables and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Add vegetable broth and milk; bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly.
  2. Stir in sweet potatoes and peppers and bring just to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
  3. Add black beans and cook, stirring frequently, until heated through, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve topped with cilantro and pepitas, and garnished with lime wedges, if desired.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days, slowly reheat over medium-low or microwave on Medium power.


Per serving: 310 calories; 10 g fat (2 g sat, 6 g mono); 4 mg cholesterol; 46 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 13 g total sugars; 11 g protein; 10 g fiber; 574 mg sodium; 709 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (103% daily value), Vitamin A (87% dv), Folate (28% dv), Iron & Potassium (21% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 3

Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 lean meat, 1 1/2 fat

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