The American chowder comes from the French chaudière, a cauldron used by French fishermen to make fish stews with their catch. Original chowders were always made with fish, the most famous ones being clam chowders. Nowadays, any thick soup containing chunky vegetables, meat, poultry, or fish can be called a chowder, but the rule is that New England recipes are creamy, and Manhattan-style chowders are tomato-based.
Rich and creamy, this New England style chowder uses ham and yellow corn rather than clams, which makes it a great everyday soup all the family will enjoy.
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 small bell peppers (1 green and 1 red), cored, seeded, and diced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pound potatoes, peeled and diced
3 cups hot chicken stock
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup milk
11 ounce can yellow corn, drained
1/4 pound thick-sliced cooked ham, diced
1/2 cup light cream
Paprika for garnish
1. Melt the butter with the oil in a large pan and add the onion and peppers. Cook over gentle heat for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are softened. Sprinkle in the flour and stir for 1-2 minutes.
2. Add the potatoes, then pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Add the bay leaf and salt and pepper to taste, cover, and simmer gently for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are very soft.
3. Stir in the milk, then add the corn and ham and heat through for about 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. Stir in the cream and taste for seasoning. Serve hot, sprinkled with paprika.
This page modified February 2007
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