Corn Chowder with Fresh Herbs and Country Smoked Ham

1 tbsp. oil or bacon fat
2 baking potatoes (peeled and sliced)
3 cup canned corn (with liquid)
1 med. carrot (peeled and sliced)
1/2 small onion (peeled and diced fine)
1 qt. canned chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. chicken base (or 1 bouillon cube)
1 bay leaf
thyme, tarragon and fresh parsley bouquet
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 canned pimientos (drained and diced fine)
1 baking potato (peeled and diced 1/4 inch)

For Garnish:
2 tbsp. freshly chopped herbs (parsley, thyme, tarragon, etc.)
1/4 lb. julienne smoked ham

Heat oil or bacon fat in a large pot, add sliced potatoes, 1-1/2 cups corn, carrots and onions. Saute 5 minutes until slightly tender. Add chicken broth, cream, chicken base, bay leaf, herb bouquet, and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Simmer about 1 hour until the vegetables are soft. Puree in blender on high speed until very smooth and velvety. Return soup to the pot and add the pimientos, diced potatoes and additional 1-1/2 cups canned corn. cook for about 1/2 hour more until the diced potatoes are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in individual bowls with a garnish of chopped herbs and julienne ham.

Serves 6

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Gumbos, Soups, Chowders

Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana