Fresh summer sweet corn is paired with aromatics, potatoes, and ham in this hearty soup. Creamy corn chowder with ham is perfect any time of year!
Creamy corn chowder with ham is, in my opinion, the ultimate soup. It’s chock full of fresh corn, aromatics, potatoes, and crispy bits of ham. You may think a hearty, comforting soup like this one is only suited for the colder months, but I’m here to tell you that you can and should make this in the middle of July.
I’ve said it before, but I love soup all year long. I especially love making it in the summer. Why? FRESH PRODUCE. You’re not going to find fresh sweet corn that actually tastes good in the middle of winter. And since it is corn chowder and corn is basically the star of the show, fresh-from-the-cob is unbeatable.
Every summer I pick a bunch of soups that feature my favorite summer veggies and I make a few batches for the freezer. There’s nothing I love more than having a taste of summer in the middle of January.
There is something about the combination of sweet corn and potatoes that is simply amazing. We also add onions, peppers, and carrots to the mix and flavor with garlic, thyme, and cayenne. And who can resist those crispy bits of ham? I like to top mine with fresh herbs and parmesan cheese. The parmesan isn’t traditional of most corn chowder recipes, but I think it’s a fantastic addition.
This chowder is sweet, spicy, creamy, and just plain delicious! Serve it alongside some crusty bread and a green salad for the perfect meal any time of the year.
- 4 Tablespoons Butter, divided
- 1 ½ Cups Diced Ham
- ½ Medium Onion, diced
- 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Flour
- 5 Cups Chicken Stock
- 4 Medium Red Potatoes, diced
- 1 Parmesan Rind*, optional
- 1 Large Carrot, shredded
- 3 Cups Fresh or Frozen Corn
- 1 Teaspoon Fresh Thyme, chopped
- 1/8 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- Freshly Grated Parmesan, for topping
- Chopped Chives, Parsley, or Basil, for garnish
In a soup pot, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat. Add in the diced ham and cook until the edges are golden brown and caramelized. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat and add the onion, garlic, and red bell pepper. Sauté until the vegetables are aromatic and the onion turns translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute before stirring in the chicken stock.
Add the potatoes, parmesan rind, grated carrot, corn, thyme, and cayenne pepper. Give it a good stir, turn the heat to low, and let the soup simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
Stir in the cream and taste – add salt and pepper if needed.
Serve the soup topped with parmesan and herb of choice (or a mix!) and enjoy!
*I always save parmesan cheese rinds (parmigianno-reggiano). I simply pop them in a freezer bag and pull one out whenever I make soup – it adds great depth of flavor!
This recipe was originally published in 2013. I have since updated the recipe measurements as well as added ham and parmesan cheese. The photos have also been updated.