After my extremely successful (patting my own back) attempt at making corned beef in the crockpot, I had leftovers. I mean I had a lot of beer-y broth and a pile of onions and carrots used to flavor the broth. I wondered if anyone had thought to use these leftovers, and did some searching for recipes. Score! People made soup and other things with them. I would also.
Because I like to be creative and take chances, I ended up making up my own recipe as I went. I had excellent results. My P.S. (Prefers corned beef/Spouse) was impressed, and he’s not easily impressed with unusual ways of using his favorite foods. He’s a bit of a purist on things like corned beef. And beer. I combined them to make a creamy Reuben soup. He loved it!
I started with using 4 cups of the leftover broth, keeping in mind it was probably very salty. I also added 4 cups of water to the soup pot and brought it to a boil while I peeled potatoes.
I was a bit annoyed that I only had about 6-7 cups of potatoes once I’d peeled and diced them. I wanted a thicker soup, almost a chowder. I added the potatoes to the soup pot and let them cook over medium heat for 10 – 15 minutes while I prepped the next step.
I’d chopped two onions into large pieces and laid them under the corned beef in the crockpot. They’d added their flavor to the broth and weren’t necessary, so I picked them out of the carrots. I did use all of the carrots after slicing them a bit thinner than the chunks I’d put into the crockpot.
Adding the carrots to the soup pot, I stirred and let them heat through before taking my next step.
I drained and rinsed the sauerkraut and added it to the pot. I used a good brand from a bag rather than the canned kind of kraut. That always tastes a bit tinny to me.
I added about 2 cups of the corned beef I’d diced up to the soup pot and let the soup heat through once more, about 3-4 minutes.
I added 4 cups of milk to the pot and again let the temperature come to a slow boil, about 5 minutes or so. I mixed ¼ cup of cornstarch with ½ cup cold water and stirred it into the soup pot. It thickened my soup somewhat, but it was still not the consistency I wanted.
I decided adding a cup of instant mashed potatoes to my soup would be my next step. This could be my solution to wanting more potatoes to give the soup a thicker consistency. I stirred the potato flakes into the soup until they were incorporated, then turned the heat to medium low and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
The soup was nicely thickened and with a quick taste test I decided no further seasonings were needed. The corned beef broth with its peppercorns and spice packet had really seasoned the broth while making the corned beef and I didn’t need to add any further seasonings to my soup.
I had an end of a chewy loaf of Kalamata olive bread, so I cut into cubes to garnish the bowls of soup. Ideally I should have had rye bread to mimic a Reuben sandwich, but I hadn’t thought ahead. I also hadn’t picked up Swiss cheese to shred so I cut a few slices of Swiss cheese I had into cubes and sprinkled them over the top of the bread cubes. All Reuben ingredients now accounted for!
It was excellent soup! Or chowder. I guess it really was chowder as it had a thick, creamy texture. We dug in and cleaned our large bowls for dinner and had happy tummies afterwards. Completing the meal with a bowl of peanut butter cup chocolate ice cream, our entire dinner was eaten with spoons. I’d call that a comfort food meal as we were stuck indoors during yet another blizzard of the season up North. Even though the calendar said it was April, our weather rarely reads the calendar.
I think our soup varieties have gotten better with each blizzard. Blizzard soup is now a thing in our household, and it’s a hobby as well as sustenance. Steaming up the inside of the kitchen windows while the blizzard coats them with snow on the outside really is fun. Maybe you have to live here to understand.
Creamy Reuben Chowder
4 cups leftover corned beef juices
4 cups water
8 cups potatoes; peeled and diced
4 cups leftover carrots; sliced ½” thick
2 cups sauerkraut; drained
2 cups corned beef; diced
4 cups milk
½ cup water
¼ cup cornstarch
1 cup instant mashed potatoes
Cubed bread such as rye; for garnish
Shredded Swiss; for garnish
Bring juices and water to a boil and add potatoes. Cook over medium heat for 10 – 15 minutes until almost fork tender.
Add carrots, sauerkraut and corned beef and cook until heated through, about 4-5 minutes.
Add milk and bring soup to a boil over medium high heat. Make a slurry by dissolving the cornstarch in the water. Stir mixture into the soup, stirring until it begins to thicken.
Add potato flakes and again stir until incorporated and it begins to thicken.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve hot topped with rye bread cut into cubes and shredded Swiss cheese
8 – 10 servings