I love recipes with fresh ingredients! It makes me feel good when I eat it, and I feel pretty good about myself when I've spent time making sure my family eats healthy. This chowder is yummy for any day, cold or not. And you can't have a bowl of chowder without a slice of this fresh bread, they compliment each other so wonderfully.
5-6 celery ribs, chopped
1 large sweet onion, diced
7-8 med-large carrots, sliced
10-12 large red potatoes or medium russet potatoes, diced
3/4-1 lb ham, diced (I like to buy 3-4 thick slices at the deli and slice it myself)
2 - 2 1/2 C.+ milk, depending on how thick you like your chowder
8 oz. frozen sweet white corn
Garlic salt/salt and pepper to taste
1. In a non-stick skillet add 1 Tbsp olive oil and heat over medium heat. When skillet is hot add celery, onion and carrots, cook until tender. (Cook them as tender as you like them in your soup)
2. Add potatoes to stock pot and cover with enough water to barely cover the potatoes. Bring water to a boil and simmer potatoes for about 15 minutes, until they are tender enough to be mashed. When they are done, drain 1/2-3/4 C. water out and mash 1/2-3/4 of the potatoes, leave the rest in chunks.
3. Add cooked veggies to the potato mixture. Stir. Leave on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the stock pot.
4. In same skillet you cooked veggies, add diced ham and brown over medium heat. The browning helps bring out the juices and flavor of the ham. When ham is browned add it to the veggie/potato mixture.
5. Add 1 cup of milk at a time, stirring and heat slowly. Add as much milk until it's reached desired consistency (2-2 1/2 Cups is usually plenty - also depends on how much water you left in the pan from cooking the potatoes).
6. Add frozen corn and stir. Simmer until corn is cooked. Add garlic salt/salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
7. Server and enjoy!
If you don't feel like peeling potatoes, then don't do it. This soup is great with peeled or unpeeled potatoes. The peel adds extra nutrition. Just scrub them good and cut off any bad spots before dicing.
I like to buy 3-4 thick slices (3/8" thick) of ham from the deli and dice it myself. I think that ham is a bit better tasting than buying pre-diced ham.