- We can start the process earlier in the day, having dinner ready at a reasonable hour.
- It's football season and when we have friends come over, it's a perfect chowder that's a meal.
We were heading to the grocery store so I grabbed the article and figured I'd pick up the ingredients to one of the dishes. As we looked at the choices - ham, chicken or quinoa, we decided that Ham Chowder with Leeks and Cabbage was perfect. For me, I love any recipe that is chock full of vegetable...unless it is chocolate, which is a whole different story. We grabbed, yukon potatoes, leeks, savoy cabbage, a few ham steaks and we were ready to go.
It took about an hour to get everything together and then it called for a 30 minute resting period, which was perfect. I let the chowder sit until we were ready to reheat it and enjoy the football game. The smell in the house was amazing and I couldn't wait to relax and enjoy a bowl. With friends around the kitchen island, we enjoyed bowls of Ham Chowder with crusty bread, delicious! It was very hearty, as every spoonful brought up potatoes, ham and cabbage. The broth, though it had cream, didn't overpower the flavors in the dish. Having a few extra dishes left at the end of the evening became perfect lunches for the week. Like many soups, stews, chilis and chowders, this tasted better the following day. YUM!
So, as you are heading out this weekend and trying to figure out what you can make for the tailgate gathering or sports event, think hearty dish, think Ham Chowder with Leeks and Cabbage. You won't be disappointed (your guest won't either!)
Ingredients of the Ham Chowder with Leeks and Cabbage:
- 5 slices of applewood smoked bacon
- 1-1/2 pounds of ham steak, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 large onion, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 celery stick, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 2 teaspoons of finely chopped (fresh) rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups of chicken broth
- 1-1/2 pounds of mini Yukon or red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/2 pound of savoy cabbage, cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 2 medium leeks, cut in half and then cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 1/2 cup of freshly chopped parsley
- salt and pepper
1. In a large soup pot, over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy, remove and break into small pieces, set aside.
2. Pour off and reserve half the bacon fat, return the pot to the medium heat and begin cooking the ham until it begins to brown slightly, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the ham and set aside.
3. Pour the reserved bacon fat into the pot and add the onions, carrots, celery, rosemary and bay leaves. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, stir the vegetables and cover for 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are softened.
4. Add the potatoes and chicken broth, turning the heat to medium high. Once there is a strong simmer, reduce heat to medium low and cover. Simmer for 8 minutes.
5. Add the leeks and cabbage and continue to simmer, covered, until the potatoes begin to soften, about 8 minutes.
6. Remove 1-1/2 cups of vegetables with a bit of broth. Puree or blend the mixture and then pour it back into the pot.
7. Turn off the heat and add the ham and heavy cream. Stir and then adjust the taste with salt and pepper. Let the chowder rest for 30 minutes.
8. Gently reheat chowder over medium heat. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Before serving, remove the bay leaves and adjust taste with salt and pepper.
9. Stir in the parsley and ladle into bowls. Top with crumbled bacon and enjoy. When ready, refill your bowl. It's that good!
10. Savor each spoonful! Feeds 6-10 people.
Written by Tricia White