Potato and Corn Chowder with Ham

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Soups are a favorite of mine to make and to eat especially as the weather starts getting cold.   I had ham left over from last night and not a lot of time so this was a perfect soup to make. One of my favorite soups since childhood contained many of the same ingredients as my potato chowder but instead of ham it had fish. We called it “kala mojakka” (Finnish for fish soup).  Sometimes the only parts of the fish the soup contained were the heads but they gave the best flavor to the broth. This from the days when nothing edible went to waste. To me, any soup was “mojakka”. My grandmother made it best.

Potato and Corn Chowder with Ham. It’s what was for dinner tonight.

2 stalks of celery

2 leeks (white and pale green portion only)

1/2 sweet red or orange bell pepper

1/2 large sweet onion

3-4 cloves of garlic

4 T butter

2 T flour

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp dried thyme

salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups diced potatoes (redskins or Yukon)

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn

4 cups chicken broth

1 cup diced ham

1 cup half and half

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Rough chop onion, celery, pepper and leeks.

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Dice the potatoes and rinse well.  (I prefer not to peel the potatoes.)

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In a Dutch oven or heavy kettle melt the butter and sauté the vegetables (onions, celery, pepper and leeks) over medium heat until they are tender, 5 minutes or so.

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Thin slice the garlic and add to the sautéing  vegetables.

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After adding the garlic sauté another minute.  Add in the flour and stir until incorporated with the vegetables.  Stir in the broth, the diced potatoes, the cayenne pepper and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

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Add corn, diced ham and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in one cup of half and half.

Continue to simmer until thoroughly heated.

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Ladle into bowls. Garnish with a little shredded sharp cheddar cheese and some fresh parsley.

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Enjoy!  I told you it was easy and not very time consuming at all. Once again this is a recipe that can be modified based on personal preference or just based on what you have on hand. The soup is excellent with no meat or you can substitute sausage. Cook the sausage ahead of time and put on paper towel to “degrease.”  Add the sausage near the end of the recipe in place of the ham.

I like to serve this soup with homemade croutons but I had no bread. Crackers had to do tonight. I have two bowls of leftover soup. It’s what will be for lunch tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow I can make some good bread to go with it. Maybe.

 

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