I thought you might need something comforting to help with all the stress that comes along with the holidays.
I absolutely LOVE the flavor of this chowder and I love that it doesn't have any carrots or potatoes in it. Since you don't have to boil any veggies, this comes together super quick and it is easy enough for a weeknight. Oh, and the smell!! It is intoxicating. I can't even begin to describe how good this smells. I'm not talking about the smell that roams throughout the house, but the smell of the actual soup. This is one of those times that I really wish the smell could travel through our computer screens so you could all experience what I did!
I now declare this my favorite weeknight chowder recipe, but my Ham Chowder is still my favorite Sunday dinner chowder!
1/2 Lb. bacon, diced
1/2 c. onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, ribbed, seeded & finely chopped
1 (15.25 oz.) can corn, drained
3/4 c. chopped deli ham
3 Tbl. flour
1 (14.5 oz.) can low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 - 2 c. half-and-half
1 tsp. Italian seasoning, or to taste
1/2 c. (heaping) Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/2 c. (heaping) Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
sliced green onions, for garnish
sliced bread, for serving
Add diced bacon to a large pot over medium heat. Cook until crispy and remove to a paper-towel lined plate; set aside. Discard all but 1 Tablespoon of the bacon grease. Add the onion and chopped red pepper and saute for a few minutes or until tender. Add the corn and chopped ham and stir to combine. Sprinkle the flour over the top and stir well. Slowly whisk in chicken broth and stir until fully incorporated. Continue cooking and allow soup to thicken, 5-10 minutes. Whisk in the half-and-half and Italian seasoning. Cook until heated through and reaches desired thickness, do not boil. Reduce heat to low and stir in the reserved bacon and both cheeses until melted. Season with salt and pepper, if needed. Garnish with sliced green onions and serve with sliced bread on the side. Yield: 4 big servings.
Jenn's Notes: If you don't like ham in chowder, then leave it out and it will be just as good. If you are planning to add the deli ham, I have the deli slice it a little thicker than you would if it was for sandwiches. This is also amazing with leftover holiday ham.