Thursday, January 9, 2014

Potato and Ham Chowder {Lightened up!}

So that polar vortex was a whole thing, huh?! If we don't see temperatures that cold for a while, I really won't mind.

Soup, of course, was the perfect meal to defrost after the walk home from the subway. As we already know, I am soup crazed! I love making new pots of chowder whenever possible.

On Christmas Day (flashback!) I made Cory and I a Dr. Pepper glazed spiral ham (a laPioneer Woman!). Now, the thing about spiral hams is that it is basically impossible to find a reasonably-sized ham for a small crowd. So, let's just say that there were a few pounds of ham in our freezer for a while.

Thanks to this Potato and Ham Chowder recipe, I have finally used up the last big piece of ham! Should we have a party? If you ask me, this soup IS the party. Rich, potato soup loaded up with sweet corn, salty ham, crunchy celery and leeks. Don't be shy -- top a big, warm bowl of this chowder with a little grated cheese and chopped chives!

I lightened up this soup by using 1% milk and thinning it out with a little low sodium chicken broth. So, although not totally guilt free, I think we should definitely serve ourselves a second bowl.

Extra bonus--this is a ONE POT DINNER! My favorite!

Here's what you need for Potato and Ham Chowder* (Print Recipe!)

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 leek, cleaned and sliced (white and light green parts only)
1 large stalk celery, sliced
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 cups spiral ham, diced (or use ham steak/ham hock/etc.)
1 1-pound bag frozen sweet corn
2 1/2-3 cups low fat milk
salt and pepper to taste

Here's what you do

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and melt the butter over medium heat. Add the leek, celery, potatoes and bay leaf. Stir to coat, season with salt and pepper. Cover the pot and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle in the flour and stir to coat all of the vegetables. Add the chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender and the broth has thickened.

Stir in the ham and corn, then slowly stir in the milk. Again bring the mixture to a boil then reduce heat to low and cook uncovered 20 more minutes until the potatoes start to break down and the soup is rich and thick. Adjust seasonings as appropriate and remove bay leaf. Serve immediately.

*Gas Stove Girl Original Recipe

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