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Light corn chowder with fresh basil

Serves 6

6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
5 ears fresh corn, kernels removed and cobs reserved (4 cups kernels)
1 1/2 pounds red bliss potatoes, chopped (4 cups total)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
7 ounces smoked turkey ham, chopped
1/4 cup flour
4 cups whole milk
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1 medium red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup basil leaves, finely chopped
1. In a large saucepan, combine the stock, corn cobs, and potatoes. Bring to a boil, cover , and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer the potatoes for 10 minutes or until tender.

2. Meanwhile, in a large flameproof casserole, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onion and turkey ham and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until the onions begin to soften.

3. Add the corn kernels and continue cooking for 5 minutes or until the corn is tender.

4. Add the remaining butter to the pan. When it melts, stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until it is beginning to brown.

5. Use tongs to remove and discard the corn cobs from the stock. Gradually ladle the stock into the corn mixture, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. Add potatoes, milk, salt, and pepper. Bring the liquids to a boil, lower the heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring often, for 2 minutes.

6. Add the red pepper and basil and stir well. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Keri Fisher

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