Ham and Corn Chowder with Potato

A hearty, creamy soup made using leftover Christmas ham (or store bought leg ham). Refer to Note 5 for a shortcut way of making this soup which will let you get this soup on the table in just 15 minutes. Make this a more complete meal by adding extra vegetables! I often add frozen diced vegetables - just add it when you add the corn into the soup. This serves 3 normal people or 2 very hungry people. It is a very filling soup!

  • 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


  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes until translucent. Do not let the onion brown.
  3. Add the flour and whisk until mixed through the butter. Pour 1 cup of milk in and whisk until it starts to thicken (around 1 1/2 minutes), then pour the remaining cup of milk in. Whisk until it thickens - around 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Then add the chicken stock, and 1 1/2 cups of water and whisk until combined.
  4. Increase heat to medium high and add the potatoes into the soup. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes (Note 3), whisking fairly regularly to ensure the soup doesn't stick to the bottom of the saucepan. The soup will thicken as it cooks. Use the remaining 1/2 cup of water if the soup gets too thick before the potato has finished cooking.
  5. Just before the potato has finished cooking, add the corn in (just to heat it through).
  6. While the potato is cooking, heat olive oil in a small fry pan over high heat. Add the ham and sauté for 1 - 2 minutes until nicely browned. Remove fry pan from the heat and set aside. (Note 4)
  7. When the potato is cooked (tender but still holding its shape), remove the soup from the stove and stir through most of the thyme and ham (reserve a bit for garnish).
  8. If the soup is too thick for your liking, use water (or milk) to get the soup to your desired consistency. Add the salt and 5 grinds of black pepper, then do a taste test and adjust the saltiness if required.
  9. Serve, garnished with remaining thyme leaves and ham.

Recipe Notes:

1. I used leftover Christmas leg ham. You can easily substitute with store bought ham. Use thick sliced ham - shaved ham will be difficult to pan fry.
2. Use potatoes around the size of a tennis ball. Any potatoes will work for this recipe. I am in Australia and I use the potatoes you buy that have dirt on them (Sebago). Russet is a good all rounder in the US that is perfect for this.
3. Small diced potatoes would only take a couple of minutes to cook in water. They take much longer in this soup because they are being cooked in soup that has been thickened with flour. See Note 5 for a faster way to make this soup.
4. You could brown the ham in the saucepan before you sauté the onion. You will need to wipe the saucepan clean after cooking the ham otherwise your soup will end up with a brownish tinge from the brown bits stuck on the saucepan from cooking the ham. When I am feeling particularly lazy and I want a one-pot soup, I will make the soup this way.
5. Alternative Method: A much faster way of making this is to "par boil" the potatoes in the microwave. Just place scrubbed (but not peeled) whole potatoes in the microwave on high for 2 minutes, then turn over and microwave for a further 2 minutes. Use oven mitts or a dishcloth to remove the potatoes from the microwave, then peel and dice. You can then omit most of the water from the recipe because when you add the potato into the soup, it only needs a couple of minutes to cook instead of 10 minutes (so you don't need the water to thin the soup out which then thickens in the time it takes to cook the potato). Just use a bit of water to get the soup to the consistency you want.
6. The soup thickens ALOT and quickly when it cools. Use water or milk to achieve your desired consistency when reheating.
7. Nutrition per serving.