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Ham and Potato Corn Chowder

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2 cups cooked ham – diced into small cubes
6 slices bacon – cooked crispy and crumbled
1 medium yellow onion – diced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. dried oregano
2 (14.5 oz.) cans low-sodium chicken broth
2 carrots – peeled and diced
1/2 cup sour cream or heavy cream (I’ve tried and like both versions)
2 celery stalks – diced
3 cups milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste
5 1/2 Tbsp. butter – divided
1 bay leaf
5 medium red potatoes (1 ¾ lb.) – diced into 3/4-inch cubes
Chopped green onions or chives, for serving
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 cups fresh corn (or frozen)

In a large pot, melt 1 1/2 Tbsp. butter over medium heat.

Add onion, carrot, and celery and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Add chicken broth, potatoes, oregano, thyme, and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium, cover with lid and allow to cook, stirring occasionally until potatoes are nearly tender, about 15 minutes.

Add in ham and corn and cook until potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes longer.

In a medium saucepan, melt remaining 4 Tbsp. butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook mixture, stirring constantly, 1 1/2 minutes.

While whisking, slowly add in milk, and whisk vigorously to smooth lumps, season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture to a boil and allow to thicken, whisking constantly.

Remove from heat, stir in sour cream or heavy cream.

Pour the milk mixture into soup mixture (once potatoes are tender) and stir.

Serve warm and topped with bacon and chives.

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