Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ham N Clam Chowder

1/2 stick butter
3 leeks, thinly sliced (rinse in tub of cold water to remove dirt between the layers)
1 medium or large onion, chopped
1 small banana pepper minced
1 cup diced cooked ham
2 small (6 oz) cans of minced clams (reserve clam broth)
6 - 8 red potatoes, thinly sliced (no need to peel)
4 cups chicken broth (or enough to barely cover potatoes)
1 cup heavy cream
salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat then add onions, leeks and banana pepper. Cook, stirring, until onions are limp and just slightly brown. Add Ham, Clams and clam broth. Add sliced potatoes to saucepan then pour in enough chicken broth to just barely cover the potatoes. Continue cooking over medium heat until potatoes are tender. Using a potato masher, mash and stir potatoes until desired consistency is reached. As you mash the potatoes and the soup thickens, turn down heat and stir frequently with a large spoon to prevent scorching on the bottom. Add one cup of heavy cream (or more if you desire) and salt and black pepper to taste. Cook 15 minutes more over low heat, stirring frequently, then remove from heat and serve.

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