October is the beginning of soup season at our house, and this week I'm giving a recipe for a family favorite, Hearty Ham Chowder.
I used one ham steak, but you can use leftover ham here. Dicing the ham and chopping the green onions are the only prep work involved.
I used fat-free evaporated milk, but use whatever you have on hand. You also can substitute frozen or fresh corn for the canned corn, about two cups of corn kernels.
The chowder can be cooked in the slow cooker. If so, omit the flour and use only 1 can of evaporated milk.
Combine all ingredients except the cheese in the slow cooker and cook on low for six to eight hours or on high for four to six hours. Remove the bay leaves and stir in the cheese just before serving.
A fruit salad and cheese biscuits can complete your menu.
Hearty Ham Chowder
Nonstick cooking spray
3 cups cooked ham, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
4 cups frozen diced hash brown potatoes (or 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes)
1 15-ounce can whole kernel corn, drained
1 15-ounce can cream-style corn
2 12-ounce cans fat free evaporated milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese, optional
Spray a Dutch oven with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat.
Add the ham, green onions and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, until ham is golden. Stir in the flour and then add all remaining ingredients except the cheese.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Remove the bay leaves.
Stir in the cheese, if desired, just before serving, stirring until melted.
Makes 6 servings.
Coming next week: Lemony Greek meatball soup will get you in the mood for the Greek Festival in downtown Augusta.
Reach Karin Calloway in care of The Augusta Chronicle Newsroom, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.