Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"Soup"er Easy Corn Chowder

OK, so just a month into blogging and I've already blown it.  I'm late. I had the very best intentions to have a fresh new post for you every Monday and here it is, Tuesday afternoon and I'm just now getting to it. I do have an excuse, however pathetic it may be. This is a "soup"er busy week (I'm just so please with the pun I created that I'm going to use it as much as possible in this post, corny - oops another pun, yes, but you'll just have to deal with it.) OK, so back to my busy week. My daughter is in the school play which means she has to be at school from 5pm to 8pm every night this week; My son's birthday is Friday which means I've got to get my act together and get presents, cake and etc.; My husband and I are going out of town this weekend which means I've got to pack and get the house clean and ready for my dad to come stay. PLUS, I only got 3 days off this week instead of my usual 4 so I'm scrambling even more. Oh and almost forgot, Valentine's Day is Monday. Whew, I'm tired just thinking about it. Maybe I'll just crawl back into bed and It'll all go away. No, buck up Becky, soldier on. You can do it.  Nothing like a little self affirmation to get ya going.

This corn chowder recipe is ideal for the kind of week I'm having. It was one of my mom's "go to" recipes. I think she got the original recipe from either a Del Monte or Campbell's ad from some ladies magazine about 100 years ago (or more likely the 1970's). She modified it here and there over the years, then I got my hands on it and modified it even more. Practically everything you need is in the pantry (or can be kept there for a pretty long time.) It goes together in just about 15 minutes start to finish and it's delicious. I always keep all the ingredients on hand, just in case. Now, it's not fancy and there aren't any special tricks to get it right. If you can dump out a can, you've got it covered. This is also a great recipe for a buffet or winter open house. It stays warm beautifully in a crock pot BUT, heat it on the stove first then transfer to the Crock Pot. If you rely on the Crock Pot to heat it up you'll wait for days! OK, so on to the recipe. . .

Here is what you'll need:

Olive oil, a ham steak, milk, cream of celery soup, cream of chicken soup, a can of corn (you could probably use fresh or frozen here, you'll just have to heat the soup longer to cook the corn), milk, onion powder, dried basil and pepper (again, I forgot to show it, sorry!) 

NOTE: I use a lot of onion powder in my recipes ONLY BECAUSE, believe it or not, my husband does not like onion. I don't know how I managed to fall in love with a man who doesn't like onion when I adore the onion. Probably some Freudian explanation there but we'll leave that for someone else to figure out.  Anywho, if you prefer please do use a real onion, a small one - medium dice, and I'll let you know when and where to use it. Plus, I'll envy you and your real onion in this "soup"er chowder.

Dice the ham steak into approximately 1/4 inch chunks.

In a medium (3 qt. size) sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. (Here's where you add the real onion if you are using it, then sauté until it's soft and translucent.)

Add the ham and stir around just until it starts to get brown around the edges.
(I love the way the ham is reflected in the side of the pan. Mmmmm, ham!) 
Turn your heat down to low.

Now just dump in both cans of soup and the milk.
Give it a good stir.

Next, drain the can of corn and add it along with the dried basil, onion powder and fresh ground pepper to taste. (No need for the onion powder if you used real onion, and you did because you want this to be "soup"er yummy!) Give it another good stir and let it simmer on low just until heated through. If it's too thick for your taste, just add more milk or some chicken stock.

It's great plain or you can top it with any number of things: diced green chiles for a little kick, a dash or two of Tobasco, shredded cheese, or these babies. I told you I like onion so I'll get it in there any way I can.

Any here you go, "Soup"er Easy Corn Chowder. Enjoy!

"Soup"er Easy Corn Chowder

1 T. Olive Oil
1 Ham Steak (6 oz. or more), 1/4 inch dice
1 can condensed Cream of Celery Soup (10 oz.? 12 oz.? just the "regular" size)
1 can condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (10 oz.? 12 oz.? just the "regular" size)
1-1/2 C. Milk
1 can Whole Kernel Corn, drained (again the "regular size", 17 oz.?)
1 T Onion Powder (or 1 small onion, medium dice*)
1 t. Dried Basil
Pepper to taste.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. (*If using real onion add and sauté until just translucent.) Add diced ham to pot and sauté until just brown on the edges. Reduce heat to low. Add both soups and milk. Stir until well blended. Add corn, onion powder (if not using real onion) basil and pepper to taste. Continue heating on low, stirring frequently, until heated through.


  1. Hey Becky!
    Congratulations! Fantastic blog and FANTASTIC recipe! Got some stuff on the front burner for you - email me!

    Go Becky GO!

  2. yum! I always crave the Barefoot Contessa's Corn Chowder. But it's so expensive to shop for and makes 5 gallons (I don't know how to make it smaller)....I'm going to try this one next. I have a great Lentil soup recipe for you, but I'm not sure it would be the same without onions....

  3. Lara, send me your lentil soup recipe. I just bought some last week and was wondering what I'd do with them. As for Ed, he doesn't so much dislike the taste of onions, more the texture. I either cut them on the big side so he can pick them out or cut them so small that they disintegrate into the dish. Some recipes just NEED onion. Good luck with the soup, please do use "real" onion, it's soooo much better.