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Fresh veggies brighten chowder

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Add some ham for a bit of decadence.

Whole milk, chicken broth and ham offer a decadent counterpart to fresh squash, potatoes and corn in this classic chowder. Serve as a first course or alongside a salad of fresh greens for a hearty meal.

Squash & Corn Chowder

Servings: 6

Preparation time: 45 minutes

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup diced onion

1 cup diced celery

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons dried marjoram

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 cup whole milk

3 cups diced summer squash

2 cups diced red potatoes

1 cup corn kernels

3/4 cup diced ham

Sliced scallions for garnish

Shredded pepper jack cheese for garnish

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and celery; cook, stirring frequently, until softened and beginning to brown, 3 to 6 minutes. Sprinkle flour, marjoram, salt and pepper over the vegetables and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Add broth and milk; bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly.

Stir in squash, potatoes and corn; bring just to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

Add ham and cook, stirring frequently, until heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve topped with scallions and cheese, if desired.

To make ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to three days, slowly reheat over medium-low or microwave on Medium power.