Don't let the long list of ingredients scare you off from trying this chowder recipe. It's really quick and easy to make – and a great way to use up leftover ham.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 2 -3 stalks celery, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 box (48 ounces) low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 cups cubed ham
- 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or less to taste)
- 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon
- 1/2 of a 1-pound bag frozen cheese tortellini
- 2 cups half-and-half
Here's how to make it:
- Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion, carrots and celery and cook about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 more minute. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes.
- Add all but 1/2 a cup of the chicken broth to the pot. Stir the cornstarch into the 1/2 cup of broth and add to pot (this prevents lumps). Add beans, ham, mustard, bay leaves, bouillon and herbs/spices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook about 20 minutes.
- Add tortellini and cook about 3 minutes, or until al dente. Add half-and-half and warm through. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Omit the tortellini and add another can of white beans.
- Omit the beans and add the entire bag of frozen tortellini
- Add cubed red potatoes when you cook the onions, celery and carrots instead of the tortellini.
- Use leftover chicken instead of ham.