Corn Chowder with Ham

I love making soups! I think a soup is really the culinary equivalent of a hug, and over the years I have tried out dozens of soup recipes. This one is a winner–creamy, slightly smoky, filling but not heavy, and kid-friendly! There are other corn chowders that are heavier and have lots of cheddar cheese–and  I love that too, but this is more of an “anytime” soup. Try this on a chilly evening or even for a casual dinner party, served with a nice salad and crusty bread.

Corn Chowder with Ham



Corn Chowder with Ham
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ½ lb ham steak, small-diced
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups chicken stock (low-sodium or homemade)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1½ lbs potatoes (either red or gold), scrubbed and small-diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or ¼ teaspoon dried
  • 2 lbs frozen corn
  • 2½ cups milk (your choice, from 1% to whole)
  • salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup cream (optional)
  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add cubes of ham and cook just to heat through and get a little color on the ham, about 4 minutes. Remove ham to a plate.
  2. Add onion to the Dutch oven, along with a pinch of salt, and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook one minute.
  3. Stir in the chicken stock and water, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  4. Stir in the cubed potatoes, bay leaves and thyme. Season with a little salt and pepper.
  5. In a separate bowl, microwave the frozen corn for a moment or two, just to thaw it a bit. Then, in batches if necessary, puree ⅔ of the corn with the milk, setting aside the remaining whole corn kernels.
  6. Add the pureed corn mixture to the soup and bring to a low simmer. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
  7. Stir in the remaining whole corn kernels, the ham and the cream, if using. Discard the bay leaves. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if necessary. Enjoy!



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