When it’s cold and there is a thick blanket of snow covering everything outside, the best thing to make for dinner is a warm, thick chowder to help take off the chill. I took some ham our of the freezer and decided to make a ham chowder. Chowders are my favorite soups and it was just the perfect day for a chowder. It was most definitely a soupy kind of day.
When I make soups, I like to make them nice and chunky and loaded with stuff. With my soups and chowders, you KNOW what’s in the soup. You can see all kinds of hearty goodness and you can actually see lots of ingredients, unlike store bought soups, where they often leave you guessing. This chowder is loaded with big chunks of ham, potatoes and vegetables. I used carrots, onions, broccoli and to spice it up just a tad, I also threw in 1 jalapeno pepper. I made my own ham stock and chicken stock too. It was a simple meal that just hit the spot.
5-6 cups, cooked ham, cubed
3 large carrots, cubed
1 onion, diced
2 TBSP garlic
1 small of head broccoli, cut into small florets
1-1 1/2 lbs potatoes, cubed or quartered, depending on the type of potatoes you use – I used the golden fingerlings
1 jalapeno, diced fine – optional
6-8 cups broth – I used both ham and chicken
salt & pepper to taste
olive oil and butter
1 TBSP fresh herbs, chopped fine – I used sage, thyme and oregano
1/2 cup flour – or more or less depending on how thick you like your chowders
1 cup heavy whipping cream
In a big soup pot, get your oil and butter hot, then add the vegetables and saute for about 7 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and the carrots and potatoes are semi tender.
Add the ham, the broth, the seasonings and the flour. Mix everything together well. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables and potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Add the cream and the herbs and mix everything together well. Adjust the seasonings if needed and add a little more flour if you like your chowders thicker. If you are adding more flour, make sure to incorporate it very well and continue to cook for about 10 minutes. There is nothing worse than getting a mouthful of uncooked flour in your soup.
Once everything is ready, it’s time to soup it up. It is the perfect feel good, comfort food for a cold wintery day. It warms you up from the inside out.