Leeks are related to both garlic and onions; they have a milder, sweeter flavor than onions. Use the white bulb portion as well as the green stem up to the dark green leaves. Dirt gets caught between the layers as the leek pushes its way out of the ground. Slit the leek in several places from the bulb up, and thoroughly rinse away the hidden dirt.
Four frozen hash brown patties can be used in place of the southern-style hash browns. Break them into pieces before adding them to the chowder.