In April I visited Portland for the very first time. We went for the weekend with the only intent on relaxing and trying to get through a long list of restaurants I wanted to try. One of those restaurants is Wildwood. I own the cookbook and so it was on top of my list. I will highlight it later.
While there I had a super yummy ham and leek chowder. I tried to recreate it but must admit it does not taste like the soup I had(something is missing but I can’t figure out what), but tasty nonetheless.
Not writing too much more. It’s my birthday today and I am off to have fun. Enjoy your week!

Ham and Leek Chowder

¼ cup diced celery
¼ cup diced carrot
1 garlic clove, chopped
¼ cup of butter plus one TBSP
2 cups russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
sea salt to taste
¼ tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
5 cups of vegetable or chicken stock, divided
2 ½ cups heavy cream
1 ½  pound smoked ham hock
2 leeks, cleaned, white part only, thinly sliced

In a large stock pot, cook celery, carrot, leeks and garlic in 1 TBSP of butter. Saute for about 5 minutes, until tender.
Add ham hock and stock. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 45 minutes. Remove ham hock from pot and let cool slightly(enough to handle). Using a fork, remove pieces of ham from the hock. Cut up ham into piece and place back into the soup pot. Discard the unused portion of the ham hock.
Add potatoes, thyme and remaining stock. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes, while the stock reduces.
Add cream and ¼ cup butter. Simmer another 20 minutes.
Check soup to see if it needs salt, it might not.
Top with croûtons and serve.