Cheddar Ham Chowder Soup

6-8 Servings
Prep: 20 min. Cook: 25 min.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups cubed peeled potatoes
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrots
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 can (15-3/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1-1/2 cups cubed fully cooked ham

Directions

  • In a large saucepan, bring the water, potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, salt and pepper to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until vegetables are just tender. Remove from the heat; do not drain.
  • Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  • Add cheese and stir until melted. Stir into the undrained vegetables; return large saucepan to the heat. Add corn and ham; heat through, stirring occasionally. Yield: 6-8 servings (2 quarts).

This soup was sooo delicious – topped with homemade croutons (me) – no croutons for DH; we both had more than one serving of this soup!

Homemade Croutons

day-old French bread (approximately 1/2 loaf)
olive oil (approximately 1/4 cup oil per 1/2 loaf)
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Optional: Parmesan cheese, dried herbs (basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary), garlic powder

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using a bread knife, cut the bread into 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch cubes.  If you prefer larger or smaller croutons, make your cuts accordingly–just be sure to make your cuts as similarly as possible to help them bake evenly. In a large bowl, toss bread cubes with enough olive oil to lightly coat.  Add kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper to taste and any seasonings you prefer.  Once cubes are evenly and lightly coated, pour bread onto a baking pan lined with aluminum foil (for easy clean-up).

Bake bread in oven for 20-30 minutes until bread is golden and very crunchy.  Toss cubes several times during baking.

Homemade croutons, stored in a plastic container or a plastic bag, last up to two weeks unrefrigerated.

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