Serves 4 (easily doubled, tripled, etc.) The creamed corn adds a great amount of richness to this dish, eliminating the need for cream. Lighter but still yummy!!
1 small onion
2 Stalks celery plus 1/4 cup celery leaves
2 tbls. butter
2 cups milk
1 can (14 3/4 oz.) creamed corn
1 cup chicken broth (you could use the fat-free, reduced-sodium, organic, too expensive type but I don't recommend it)
1 bay leaf
1 fully cooked ham steak (8 oz)
1 (10 oz.) package frozen corn
Salt and black pepper to taste
10 shakes your favorite Hot Sauce
Coarsely chop the onion and celery stalks.
In a large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Stir in the chopped onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes.
Stir in the milk, creamed corn, chicken broth, and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, trim and dice the ham into 1/2-inch chunks. Barely chop the celery leaves.
Add the ham, celery leaves, and frozen corn to the soup and simmer for 5 minutes, until heated through. Season with salt, black pepper and hot sauce.