This recipe is a super, hearty, homemade Corn Chowder. A soup, that's really easy to prepare, and will definitely warm you up on a cold Winter's day. The best part of this Corn Chowder recipe is that I've re-purposed leftover Root Beer Glazed, Smoked Ham from my New Years Day dinner.
Trying to use up leftovers can sometimes be a challenge. With leftover ham, it easy to make a kicked up Grilled Cheese, Ham and Eggs, or even my Sweet Potato Hash. This time I wanted to really re-purpose the Ham and use it so I wouldn't think I was eating Ham, AGAIN.
Needless to say, it worked out perfectly, especially with the first real cold weather of the year coming to the South (it was 22 degrees this morning with a high of 36). I understand that that's nothing compared to where some of you live, and for me I still remember living in Northern New Hampshire with the cold snap getting to less
Thanks to the addition of the Root Beer Glazed, Smoked Ham, the soup had a hint of smokey flavor, along with many different textures. Just enough heat from the my Blacken Seasoning, and nice and filling. It really did the job of both warming me up, and not being hungry an hour after eating. It's a meal in a bowl, and will re-heat easily in a pot.
Although I don't show it, I did serve it along with Garlic Bread, for that little extra kick.
You could easily make this soup by getting some thick sliced ham from the Deli at your local supermarket. And if you don't have the leftover Root Beer Glaze, you could just as easily use any BBQ Sauce you've got hangin' around in the frig. I always save my sauces and glazes in a squirt bottle in my frig. 'cause I know I'll find a use for them within the next few weeks. Sometimes, just a squirt or two can totally change any of your recipes. And they're great to use on Oven, Barbecued Chicken.
1. Slice the bacon, crosswise, into 1/4" - 3/8" strips.
Place a little oil in the bottom of your pot (I used an 8 quart, heavy bottomed pot), and turn the heat to medium high. Cook the bacon until the fast is rendered, and the bacon is just beginning to brown.
2. While the bacon is cooking:
Slice the leftover ham into 1/4" - 5/16" slices. I used 2 slices, but you could easily add a third, if you'd like a meatier soup.
3. Cut the ham into chunks about 1" square. You want them bite sized for easy eating.
4. Place the ham into the pot with the bacon, and begin dicing the onions. The ham should just begin to brown when you've got the onions ready. Add the onions into the pot, with a little more vegetable oil, if it needs it.
Don't worry about some of the meat sticking to the bottom of the pan. The onions contain a lot of moisture, and will deglaze the pan while they cook.
Since I'm using a stainless pot, I use a wooden spatula to help the onions do their job.
5. Peal and chop the potatoes while the onions are cooking, add them to the pot when the onions are soft, and just a little browned.
6. Add enough chicken broth to just cover the potatoes. Bring the pot to a boil, then turn down to simmer the potatoes, covered, until they're soft.
7. When the potatoes are soft, mash them with the back of a spoon of a spatula against the side of the pan. Don't worry about getting all of them, because they'll add their own texture to the finished soup.
8. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir it up well, bring it to a boil, then turn way down to simmer.
Let the soup simmer, covered, for about 1/2 hour while you cook the ham for the garnish.
9. For the Garnish:
I took another slice of ham that was about 1/8" thick and sliced it into long, 1/8" square strips. Place them in a small Teflon fry pan with a little of the leftover Root Beer Glaze, and cook over high heat until they just begin to brown.
10. To serve, place the soup into a bowl, or in my case it was a large 12 oz. soup cup, lay a few strips of the Ham Garnish on top, then sprinkle with chopped parsley, or chives. Because I didn't have any fresh parsley, I used dried. It looked great just the same.