Green Chile Corn Chowder with Ham

It’s rainy and cool in Seattle (big surprise!) and the days are getting shorter. Time for soup!

Made this tonight and it came out yuuummmy! I’ve made corn chowder a hundred times but never quite like this – Mexican style. You can make this a vegetarian dish, but I like the smoky ham flavor.

Serves 4.

Ingredients:

4 T butter

1 yellow onion, diced

2 celery stalks, cleaned, ends cut off, diced

1 t diced garlic (from a jar or fresh)

Optional: 1 c diced ham (I use the ham steak from Costco)

1/2 ground turmeric (optional)

1 t ground cumin

1 t mild chili powder

1-4 oz can mild diced green chiles (such as Ortega-brand)

1-16 oz bag frozen corn or 5 fresh ears of corn, corn kernels cut off

6 c chicken or vegetable stock

1/3 c flour

1 c shredded sharp cheddar (plus half a block of cream cheese – optional)

1 c whipping cream

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Melt butter in medium-large soup pot over medium-high heat

Stir in diced onion, garlic and celery and cook until translucent

Add diced ham and cook until ham begins to brown

Add turmeric (if using), cumin, chili powder, diced green chiles, and corn

Whisk flour into chicken/vegetable stock until well-combined and there are no lumps

Add to corn mixture and whisk until beginning to thicken

Turn heat down to medium-low/medium

Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally

Add cheddar and stir until melted (tip: add half a block of cream cheese, too for a more tangy flavor)

Gently fold in whipping cream (half-n-half okay) – do not boil soup or cream may curdle

Stir in salt & pepper to taste

Great served with any or all of the following: a wedge of lime, small dollop of sour cream, diced green onions or fried onions such as French’s

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