• 1 1/2 cups ham (fully cooked, cut into 1/2-inch cubes)
  • 1 bulb fennel (about 1 pound)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 leek (large, sliced)
  • 14 1/2 ounces chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon peel (grated)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese (shredded, 8 ounces)
  • 12 ounces beer


  1. Trim fennel bulb; discard root end and save some of the feathery top for garnish; finely chop and set aside. Quarter the bulb lengthwise; remove the core; chop (you should have about 1 1/2 cups)
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter; add fennel and leeks and saute, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes, or until fennel is very tender. Combine broth and flour; stir into onion mixture. Add milk, lemon peel, cinnamon and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until mixture thickens.
  3. Gradually stir in cheese; reduce heat to low; stir until cheese melts. Stir in ham and beer; heat through. To serve, ladle chowder into soup bowls. Sprinkle with chopped fennel leaves.
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