Ham and Sweetcorn Chowder

Chowder is an American name given to particularly thick and filling soups. This recipe, which uses ham, potatoes and sweetcorn, comes from New England and is substantial enough to serve as a nourishing and tasty main dish. As long as you use lean ham, it is low in fat. The cheese topping can be omitted for an even lower fat version. Serve piping hot with chunks of wholemeal bread and a salad.
Preparation time : 10 minutes,
Cooking time : 35 minutes,
Calories per serving: 495


serves 4
1 1/2 lb (700g) old potatoes
6 oz (175 g) lean cooked ham
1/2 large Spanish onion
1 pint (570 ml) skimmed or semi-skimmed milk
1 1/4 pints (725ml) chicken stock or water
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Freshly ground black pepper
12 oz (350 g) tinned or frozen sweetcorn
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
2 oz (50 g) Parmesan cheese
2 oz (50 g) low-fat Cheddar cheese


1. Peel the potatoes. Discarding any fat, dice the ham and potatoes into 1/2 in (15mm) cubes. Finely chop the onion and add it to a casserole with the potatoes.

2. Pour in the milk and stock, or water, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add the mixed herbs, 1/4 teaspoon paprika and season with pepper. Half cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Preheat the grill on a high temperature. Add the ham and sweetcorn to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes, while stirring. Remove the pan from the heat, mix in the parsley and adjust the seasoning. Pour the chowder into 4 heat-proof serving bowls.

4. Grate and mix the cheeses together and sprinkle over the top of the chowders. Place the bowls under the grill for 3-4 minutes until the cheese is brown. Sprinkle with the remaining paprika and serve.

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