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Ham and Corn Chowder with Potato

20 mins Cook
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This Ham and Corn Chowder offers delightful comfort and warmth! Picture a creamy soup base, tender potatoes, sweet juicy corn, and crispy golden-brown ham – an utterly irresistible combination that will soothe your soul. Just imagine returning home to this!

Corn Chowder Ham and Corn Chowder with Potato

It’s the 27th of December, a mere 2 days after Christmas. I’d venture to guess that countless households worldwide are enjoying ham for lunch. Of course, you could assemble a ham sandwich with fresh bread (hooray for open shops today!) or create a frittata using other remnants from your Christmas Day feast.

However, why not try something a bit unique and whip up this chowder?

I firmly believe that for a soup to qualify as a meal, it must possess substantial character. This soup takes it to the next level. It’s hearty, rich, and wonderfully thick – all without the need for cream! It’s the kind of soup that can easily be bulked up with additional vegetables (frozen diced ones work wonders!) or other leftover meats (imagine turkey and chicken leftovers!).

At first glance, you might have mistaken the photo for bacon! But no, there’s not a shred of bacon in sight. Truth be told, when you pan-fry the ham and get it beautifully crispy, it may make you wonder why you don’t cook with ham more often. It delivers all the flavor but with a healthier twist!

To wrap things up, I must reluctantly announce… I’ve depleted my supply of leftover Christmas ham! A twinge of sadness accompanied the use of the last morsels for this recipe, as it seems to mark the end of Christmas festivities… and the anticipation of waiting another 363 days until the next one.

Ham and Corn Chowder with Potato

Ham and Corn Chowder with Potato

This Ham and Corn Chowder offers delightful comfort and warmth! Picture a creamy soup base, tender potatoes, sweet juicy corn, and crispy golden-brown ham – an utterly irresistible combination that will soothe your soul. Just imagine returning home to this!
prep time
10 mins
cooking time
20 mins
total time
30 mins



  • 1 1/2 cups ham , roughly chopped (Note 1)

  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil

  • 3 tbsp butter

  • 1 garlic clove , minced

  • 1 small onion , diced (or half large onion) (yellow, brown or white)

  • 2 potatoes , peeled and diced into 8mm / 1/3" cubes (Note 2)

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn (or drained canned corn)

  • 5 tbsp flour

  • 2 cups milk (I use low fat but full fat will work too)

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups water

  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tsp dried thyme), plus extra for garnish

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • Black pepper


In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
Add the onion and garlic, sautéing for about 5 minutes until they become translucent. Be careful not to let the onion brown.
Incorporate the flour and whisk until it's thoroughly combined with the butter. Pour in 1 cup of milk and whisk until it begins to thicken (approximately 1 1/2 minutes), then add the remaining cup of milk. Continue whisking until it thickens further, which should take about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Afterward, introduce the chicken stock and 1 1/2 cups of water, whisking to combine.
Increase the heat to medium-high and introduce the potatoes into the soup. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, whisking fairly regularly to prevent the soup from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan. As the soup simmers, it will naturally thicken. If it becomes too thick before the potatoes are fully cooked, utilize the remaining 1/2 cup of water.
Just before the potatoes finish cooking, add the corn to the soup to warm it through.
Meanwhile, while the potatoes are cooking, heat olive oil in a small frying pan over high heat. Sauté the ham for 1 to 2 minutes until it turns nicely browned. Remove the frying pan from the heat and set it aside.
Once the potatoes are tender but still holding their shape, remove the soup from the stove. Stir in most of the thyme and ham, reserving a portion for garnish.
If the soup's consistency is thicker than you prefer, use water (or milk) to reach your desired thickness. Add the salt and season with 5 grinds of black pepper. Perform a taste test and adjust the saltiness if necessary.
Serve the soup, garnishing it with the remaining thyme leaves and ham.


I utilized leftover Christmas leg ham for this recipe, but you can easily substitute it with store-bought ham. Opt for thick-sliced ham, as thinly shaved ham can be challenging to pan-fry. Select potatoes approximately the size of a tennis ball. Any type of potato will work well for this dish. In Australia, I typically use the type with traces of dirt still on them (such as Sebago). In the US, Russet potatoes are a versatile choice that's perfect for this recipe. While small diced potatoes would normally take just a couple of minutes to cook in boiling water, they require a longer cooking time in this soup due to the thickened soup base with flour. Refer to Note 5 for a quicker soup-making method. Another option is to brown the ham in the saucepan before sautéing the onion. However, remember to wipe the saucepan clean after cooking the ham to prevent any brown bits from sticking and tinting the soup. When I'm feeling particularly lazy and desire a one-pot soup, I go with this method. Alternative Method: For a much faster preparation, "par boil" the potatoes in the microwave. Place scrubbed, unpeeled whole potatoes in the microwave on high for 2 minutes, then flip them over and microwave for an additional 2 minutes. Use oven mitts or a dishcloth to handle the hot potatoes, then peel and dice them. You can reduce the amount of water in the recipe since the potatoes, when added to the soup, only need a couple of minutes to cook instead of the usual 10 minutes. Consequently, there's no need for extra water to thin out the soup, which would then thicken as the potatoes cook. Just add a small amount of water to adjust the soup to your preferred consistency. Please note that the soup thickens significantly and rapidly as it cools. When reheating, use either water or milk to achieve your desired consistency. Nutrition information per serving is provided in the Ham Corn Potato Chowder Nutrition section.
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