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Monday, September 12, 2016

Garden Chowder with Ham







Today is PERFECT fall weather!  A bit overcast, breezy, high of 60 degrees if we're lucky.  I love fall!  One of my favorite fall things is SOUP!   Garden Chowder with Ham is a hearty way to celebrate fall.

We grow a fair sized garden each year.  I love to wander through it in the fall and shop for dinner.  This is what I chose to use for our chowder today.  If you don't have a garden to shop in, enjoy wandering through the produce section of your favorite grocery store and select the vegetables you'd enjoy best! (Don't discount the small amount of green pepper though - it adds such a rich flavor!) The vegetables I chose today are those that are still available in my garden in the fall.  The summer squash is finishing up and the texture of it always changes a bit, more dry maybe.  If we were making this earlier in the summer we could add peas or green beans, but those vegetables are done in my garden this time of year.  You could even use frozen vegetables if that's what you have or you want to save time.  Soup's flexible like that!  




Garden Chowder with Ham


5 C. water
1 T. chicken bouillon
OR
5 C. chicken broth

Place in large pot and turn on medium heat.

I like to add my vegetables starting with those that take the most time to cook first.  So start prepping from the top of the list and add:

1 medium onion, diced
1 C. diced carrot
3/4 - 1 C. corn cut off the cob
2 C. diced potatoes
1/4 C. finely diced green pepper
1 1/2 C. diced summer squash (I use yellow and zucchini)

Bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are tender, maybe 10-15 minutes. DO NOT DRAIN!  (Your flavor is in the broth by now!)

While the veggies are cooking get out a medium saucepan to make your roux.

Melt:

1 cube butter

and then add:

1 C. flour

and stir over low heat until blended well.  Then add:

1 C. cream  or 1 can evaporated milk
2 C. half & half or milk

Stir over medium heat until thickened.

Add the roux to your vegetables and broth and stir over medium heat until thickened and well heated.

Add 1 1/2 C. diced ham

and heat through.

Serve with grated cheese if desired.

I like to serve bread with my soups.  If you'd like to make your own earlier in the day, try one of these recipes.  The french bread is easy and done in about an hour or make bread bowls from the same dough!  We love it!


French Bread 








Bread Bowls








60 Minute Rolls



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