Chunky Chowder


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Home Made

By Yvette van Boven

Published 2011

  • About

This typical main course soup from New England is one of my favourites: a rich, creamy soup with large chunks of fish, potato, corn, strips of raw or cooked ham and a lot of fresh thyme and parsley.


  • 250 g (8 oz) raw or cooked ham, in thick slices and then cut into strips
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 litre (4 cups) fish stock
  • 2 corn cobs
  • 1 kg (2 lb) cod fillet or other white fish
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) cream
  • bunch of flat-leaf parsley, washed and chopped


Heat a large heavy-based pan and fry the ham in a spoonful of butter until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside. Then sauté the onion, thyme and bay leaves in the remaining fat until glassy but not brown. Add the potatoes, and fry briefly. Pour in the stock. The potatoes should be under water, if this is not the case, add some extra stock. Cut the corn kernels away from the cobs and add them to the stock. Parboil the potatoes for approx. 10 minutes. Stir the pan in order for some cubes to break and others not. The soup must be thick, but have texture. Season the chowder well with salt and pepper. Make sure it is very well seasoned as when the fish is added it’s best not to stir the stock much. Add the fish and ham.

Cook for approx. 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave the soup to stand for 10 minutes. Stir in the cream and taste to check whether it needs more salt or pepper.

Leave the chowder to stand for at least one hour. You can also store the soup in the refrigerator until the following day. Gently heat before serving, but do not boil. First scoop chunks of fish and potato into the bowl and then top with the creamy soup. Generously sprinkle with parsley. Serve with crusty bread.