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Contest-Winning Ham and Corn Chowder

I'm always on the lookout for easy soups because my husband and I love them, particularly in the winter months. This cream chowder gets a little kick from cayenne and chopped jalapeno pepper. Extra servings freeze very well. —Sharon Price Caldwell, Idaho
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 25 min.
  • Makes
    8 servings (2 quarts)


  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
  • 2 cups cubed cooked potatoes
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn
  • 1 can (14-3/4 ounces) cream-style corn
  • 3/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  • In a large saucepan, saute the celery, onion and jalapeno in butter until vegetables are tender. Stir in flour until blended; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until heated through.
Editor's Note
Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 245 calories, 9g fat (5g saturated fat), 39mg cholesterol, 722mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 2g fiber), 12g protein.

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  • kriserickj
    Apr 1, 2013

    Have made this twice, with rave reviews. I used frozen diced potatoes/country potatoes once and fresh the second time- same result. Needs some seasoned salt at the end, but otherwise so yummy!!!

    Mar 26, 2010

    Have made this many, many times! It is delicious! I have had many compliments on it, as well as several recipe requests.I seems to take a long time for it to come to a boil and thicken, however. And a couple of times I have started to prepare it, forgetting to cook the potatoes first, and rushing to get them peeled, cubed, and cooked while the soup is thickening. I have written myself a note at the beginning of the recipe "Cook Potatoes First!!" Haven't made the same mistake since...

  • 5493
    Feb 3, 2010

    This soup was delicious and quick and easy to make. I left out the jalapeno and thyme, adding a seasoned blend I like but kept the cayenne which made all the difference. A definite "keeper".