Fit Chicken Corn Chowder

Are any of you soup fans?  I love my food, and soup is of no exception.  I feel kind of lucky that my husband will eat soup as a main course because I have several friends who claim that their husbands don’t really call soup a meal.  Whatever their arguments may be, it doesn’t matter because I have a man that will eat soup so I love to make it!

With that being said, I definitely make my soups hearty.  I am quick to make sure that there is enough protein which always helps to make them more dinner-worthy.  This chowder is one of our favorite soups around our house.  I can hardly believe that it’s even appropriate for a light meal, considering it has the word “chowder” in the title, but I’ve trimmed it up a bit to lower the calories to be just about right!

This soup is creamy, the veggies give it such great flavor, and the ham/chicken combination is fantastic in it.  I’m gonna say that the cream cheese is probably what gives this soup that over-the-top, give-me-more appeal. I know the list of ingredients seems long, but don’t let that scare you.  The soup comes together in a flash and it’s TOTALLY worth it!

Before my grandma passed away, Beau and I would visit her at least once a month.  We would take her dinner and this soup was her #1 requested meal.  Of course she also loved to eat it with my biscuits, but we’ll have to save that recipe for another time.

Fit Chicken Corn Chowder
Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped, seeds and membrane removed (this is important for flavor – but doesn’t add heat because the seeds and membranes are removed and it is cooked with the other veggies)
1/2 cup (3 oz.) thinly sliced or cooked chopped ham (lean)
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup frozen corn kernels
12 oz. of chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
4 oz. softened light cream cheese
1 cup lowfat milk (1%)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese

Place olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté celery, bell pepper, onion and jalapeno until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ham; cook for another 3 minutes. Whisk the broth with the flour in a liquid measuring cup or bowl and then stir into the soup. Stir in the corn and chicken. Bring to a low boil and reduce heat. Whisk together the cream cheese and milk in a large bowl until smooth (to avoid major lumps, soften the cream cheese until almost melted in the microwave). Whisk the cream cheese/milk mixture into the soup along with the salt, pepper and cheddar cheese. Simmer on low until ready to serve.

Serves 6.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1.5 Cups)
Calories:   252
Protein:  23.2g
Carbs:  19.6g
Fat:  10g (4.8g = Sat.)
Fiber:  2.1g
Sugars:  5.7g


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