This easy ham and cheesy slow cooker chowder is a soup hearty enough to be a main meal, and wow, is it tasty.
You can use up leftover ham or buy ham steaks and cut them into cubes. For the potatoes, it’s your choice of russet, white or red potatoes. You’ll be adding corn to the chowder too, and fresh corn is hitting the stores right about now but you can always use canned corn.
The cheese adds so much flavor to this chowder. You can start with sharp cheddar and then add some shredded Gouda or Gruyère for added depth. If you like really thick chowder, just add cornstarch to the milk before adding to the broth. Finally, if you really want to knock this one out of the park, pick up some small bread boules, Cut the top off, dig out the middle (but save that bread for dunking). Pour this delicious slow cooked ham and cheesy chowder right into the bread bowl.
If you don’t want to wait eight hours, follow this same recipe using a Dutch oven or large pot and cook for a couple of hours.
Ham and Cheesy Slow
1 large sweet yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ cups celery, diced
1 leek, chopped fine, optional
4 cups cooked ham, cut in small cubes
4 cups potatoes (russet, white or red potatoes), peeled and cut in small cubes
2 ears of fresh corn, kernels cut off, or 1 (15oz) can of sweet yellow corn, drained
4 cups chicken stock, plus 2 cups of water
2 cups whole milk
1-2 tablespoons cornstarch for thickening soup, optional
2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream or 1 (8 oz) softened cream cheese
1 teaspoon pepper
Optional, small round boule for serving the chowder in a bread bowl.
Extra cheese and chopped parsley for garnish
In a slow cooker (at least 6 quart size), combine onion, garlic, celery and optional leek. (For added flavor, you can sauté the onion, garlic, celery and leek in a skillet until golden brown first, then add to the slow cooker.) Add ham, potatoes, corn and chicken broth. Stir, cover and cook on medium or low for 8 hours.
When chowder is cooked, add milk, sour cream and cheese, stirring to combine, and cook for another 15 minutes or until cheese has melted and broth has thickened. (Optional: Stir 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch into milk before pouring into the soup for a thicker consistency.)
Cook on high for 25 minutes or until cheese has melted, stirring occasionally. Add pepper and stir to combine.
When done, serve in a bread bowl or soup bowl with additional cheese sprinkled on top.
Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.