Christmas Leftovers: Ham and Potato Chowder

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December 28, 2014

Leftover Christmas ham is a beautiful thing.  Ham can be a delicious addition to a myriad of dish including a ham and spinach quiche or this wonderful ham and potato chowder.  This thick and creamy soup is delightful, especially on a cold day.  If you have all the ingredients on hand, you can easily make this chowder in under 30 minutes.

Ham and Potato Chowder

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups ham, roughly chopped
5 tbsps unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
2 potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/4" cubes
5 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 heavy cream
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup water
3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed, plus extra for garnish
1/2 cups corn (frozen or drained from a can)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Step 1: Place chopped potatoes in a microwave dish in a single layer.  Cover with a damp paper towel and cook for 1 1/2 minutes on high in the microwave.  This step will speed up the cooking process later on.

Step 2: In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté the mixture until fragrant and onions appear translucent, about 5 minutes.  Sprinkle the flour and whisk until mixed thoroughly with the butter. Pour 1 cup of milk in and whisk until the sauce begins to thicken.  Add the remaining milk and cup of heavy cream.  Continue to whisk until thickened about 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the chopped ham, chicken stock, thyme leaves and 1 cup of water and whisk until combined. Increase heat to medium high and add the partially cooked potatoes to the soup. Cook the  soup until potatoes are fork tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  The soup will thicken as it cooks.  If needed, add more chicken stock or water to thin the soup for desired consistency. Add corn one to two minutes before the soup is finished cooking.  Remove from heat.

Step 3:  Season the soup with salt and pepper.  Adjust as necessary.  Serve with a slice of toasted bread.

*Note: If you prefer your ham to be crispy, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a small fry pan over high heat. Add the ham and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes until browned.  You can add the browned ham to the soup or use it as a garnish.

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