Heat the oil in a saucepan, and in it fry the onion until soft and golden brown. Stir in the potato, milk and bay leaf, cook for 15 minutes, and then add the corn and ham and cook for 5 minutes more. Add parsley, season to taste and serve.
If you like, you can thicken the soup by making a purée of a third of it, and stirring it back into the rest of the chowder.
© 2000 Frances Bissell. All rights reserved.