Monday, December 22, 2008

Farmhouse Ham Chowder

Yesterday was a great day for soup; cold, windy, and home from church. I tried this new recipe, courtesy of Taste of Home's Simple & Delicious. The soup base is milk & dry Ranch dressing, so I was a bit concerned that it would just taste like Ranch with stuff in it--but it didn't. In fact, I would never have guessed it had that seasoning in it at all. Super easy, went together really fast, and hearty enough to fill us up. Perfect for a cold day!

Farmhouse Ham Chowder
(Simple & Delicious, March/April 2008)

1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
4-1/4 cups milk
2 cups frozen cubed hash brown potatoes, thawed
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 ounces smoked Gouda cheese, shredded

In a large saucepan, saute the onion, celery and red pepper in butter until vegetables are crisp-tender.
Stir in flour and dressing mix until smooth; gradually stir in milk.
Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
Add the potatoes, corn, ham and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes or until heated through.
Sprinkle with cheese before serving.
Yield: 8 servings (2 quarts).