My mother is an excellent cook who rarely follows a recipe exactly. My two sisters and I do the same thing, adding something here, omitting something there. With this soup, I sometimes leave out the bacon and butter, and have used canned corn and creamed corn with good results. We like to eat this soup with big soft hot pretzels instead of crackers. —Sharon Rose Brand, Stayton, Oregon
- 8 bacon strips, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup sliced celery
- 1/2 cup diced green pepper
- 3 cups cubed peeled potatoes (about 3 medium)
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 4 cups whole milk, divided
- 4 cups fresh or frozen whole kernel corn, divided
- 2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, optional
- In a large saucepan, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon to paper towel to drain, reserving 1/4 cup drippings in pan. Saute the onion, celery and green pepper in drippings for 5 minutes. Add potatoes and broth. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Place 1/2 cup milk and 2 cups corn in a blender; cover and process until pureed. Pour into saucepan. Add ham and remaining corn; simmer for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in the butter, parsley, salt, pepper, pepper sauce if desired and remaining milk; heat through. Garnish with bacon. Yield: 10-12 servings (3 quarts).
Originally published as Ham and Corn Chowder in Country Extra November 1994, p49
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