The first time I had this chowder was the summer of 1991 when our daughter was born. My friend Cindy Hilty (also a cousin by marriage) brought supper to us – and this was it. My three boys under five loved this chowder and begged for more. So of course, I asked Cindy for the recipe. Potatoes, carrots, celery, and cheese are the main ingredients. A white sauce with butter, flour and milk round out this recipe.
You start out with a white sauce. Melt your margarine and then stir in flour. Gradually add milk, stirring so it stays smooth and doesn’t stick. While you’re doing that, you can be cooking your vegetables in another kettle. By the time one is done, the other will be also. Then you add the two together.
Make a large kettle of this and share some with a neighbor. It’s a quick and easy supper. To reheat, you might need to add a little milk because it thickens while it sits.
Although the chowder is called Cheddar, you can add meat to the kettle. I’ve used ham, tuna, hamburger or sausage (fried and drained), and salmon. Our favorite addition is ham.
This chowder is an easy way to use up leftover ham from the holidays. It works for any day of the week, and especially on chilly evenings when you just want a bowl of soup or chowder.
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups diced potatoes
- ½ cup celery
- ½ cup diced or shredded carrots
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- 1½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- 1 cup of one of the following: ham, bacon, tuna, salmon, hamburger, or sausage
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups grated cheese
- Cook together the first 7 ingredients (water through pepper)
- Do not drain
- In another pan, melt butter
- Add flour and stir until smooth
- Add milk, stirring until slightly thickened
- Add cheese and stir until melted
- Mix vegetables and sauce together
- Add meat of your choice
- Heat through and serve.