Is there leftover ham taking up precious real estate in your fridge, like there is in mine? I never mind having too much ham over Easter - it makes the very best leftovers, adding flavour to all sorts of dishes, from pasta to soup. If you bought a ham on the bone, you're on your way to some simple, flavourful stock. (Cover it with water, add a halved onion and a few sprigs of parsley or leafy celery and bring to a simmer; cook for about 30 minutes, then cool and strain, pulling off any chunks of ham to add to your soup.)
Even if what you're left with is just leftover ham, you don't need much to make a hearty pot of soup - chowder is a great way to stretch a small quantity of meat a long way.
Ham, Potato and Cheddar Chowder
canola or olive oil, for cooking
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 Tbsp. flour
1 cup diced ham
4 cups (1 L) chicken or ham stock
2 thin-skinned potatoes, unpeeled and diced
1 can sweet kernel corn
1 cup milk or 1/2 cup half & half (or to taste)
1 cup grated aged cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper
Heat a drizzoe of oil in a large saucepan or medium pot and set over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and cook for 4-5 minutes, until soft. Add the flour and ham and cook, stirring, for another minute, until everything is coated with flour.
Stir in the stock, add the potatoes and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, cover, and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Stir in the corn, and the milk or cream if you’re using it, and allow the chowder to return to a gentle simmer. (Don’t let it boil, or the milk may separate.)
Add the cheese and stir just until it melts. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 4-6.