Cheesy Sausage Corn Chowder

Recently I had part of a roll of breakfast sausage and some Colby/jack cheese that I needed to use up.  It seems as though I have needed to “use up” quite a lot of food lately.
I needed to make soup for lunches so thought that using the sausage and cheese as a base for some chowder sounded good.  I add all the veggies that I like in a chowder and came up with a soup that was comforting and good on a cool fall day.

Cheesy Sausage Corn Chowder
1 lb. breakfast sausage (I use roll sausage and had about 3/4 lb.)
2 ribs celery, finely chopped (about 1/2 c.)
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/3 c. chopped red pepper
1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 c. chicken broth
1/2 t. thyme
1 bay leaf
1 qt. milk
1 can (15 oz.) cream style corn
1 c. water
1/3 c. flour
4 oz. Colby/jack cheese, diced

Brown sausage in a large saucepan and pour off any excess fat.  Add veggies and cook about 5 minutes.  Add potato, chicken broth, thyme and bay leaf.  (Add a bit of water if broth does not cover completely.)  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.  Stir in cream corn and milk.  Cook until heated through but do not boil.  Stir in cheese until melted.  Measure water into a glass measuring cup.  Add flour and mix until smooth.  Slowly add to soup, stirring until soup thickens to chowder consistency.  Add a bit of milk if soup becomes too thick.  Heat through.  Remove bay leaf and serve.  Makes about 8 servings.

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