My Sister's Ham & Potato Chowder

My Sister’s Ham & Potato Chowder

Have I ever told you how much I love soup? Take a look at my Menu of Soups, Chowders & Chilis and you’ll get the idea! So when I find an outstanding new soup, especially a super quick, super easy and down-home one like this that kind of tugs at the heartstrings, you betcha I’m going to share it with you. This is my sister’s Ham & Potato Chowder. It’s a bowl of comfort, perfect for a winter day!

My Sister's Ham & Potato Chowder

My Sister’s Ham & Potato Chowder


My sister made this soup at my folks when she covered me while I went back home for a visit. When I got back, there was a big pot in the fridge (I think she doubled it) and that was like the best thing, ever! Thanks, Sis!

About My Sister’s Ham & Potato Chowder:

I wasn’t the only one to think so. We heated it up for lunch the next day and Dad went to town on it and even Pat, my Stepmom, who doesn’t usually care much for soup couldn’t get enough. It really is hearty and comforting and reads more like a meal. Proof of that? About halfway through lunch, I glanced over and Dad was using his fork rather than his spoon!

I suppose you could pair this with a sandwich if you wanted to or maybe a salad, but I thought it was just fine with a few crackers; after all, it’s chock full of ham, celery, carrots, onions, and potatoes. And it has a little touch of cream (or half and half if you prefer) that gives it such a gorgeous silkiness. So the Ham & Potato Chowder hits every major food group but the grains.

Of course, you can if want to, garnish with a little cheese and/or bacon. Maybe a dollop of sour cream if you lean that way and you can never go wrong with a few chives or thinly sliced green onion,

My Sister's Ham & Potato Chowder

My Sister’s Ham & Potato Chowder

Making My Sister’s Ham & Potato Chowder:

So you start this chowder by sauteing the veggies, the onion, celery and carrots in butter until they’re nicely softened. That does take a bit of time, eight to 10 minutes or so. Then in goes the flour. Really stir it around as you let it cook through so the soup won’t have a floury taste; it might not look like it’s doing much as it cooks with the veggies but it’s key.

Then you can pretty much dump in the stock in increments, a cup or so at first, stirring, then a little more and the rest as it loosens up. The quality of the stock makes or breaks the soup. If you have homemade stock, like my Best Ham Stock (Instant Pot or not) it’s great in this soup. If not you can use purchased ham stock if you have it or if not, use chicken stock, instead.

Then in goes the ham and potatoes and the soup simmers until the potatoes are tender. You’ll notice the soup thickens a bit but to get it really creamy, once the potatoes are all soft, stir it up, then smash some of the potatoes against the side of the pot or use a potato masher. I like to use a spatula or slotted spoon to smash some of the potatoes because I can avoid a lot of the carrots and the ham. Smash too many carrots and your soup will turn orange! As it is, it does have a bit of a yellowish hue. You get to control how thick or how chunky the soup is.

It’s best to turn off the heat before adding the cream and not boil the soup after the cream is added. At high heat, dairy can separate and that can make the soup oily, and keep that in mind as you reheat, too. When refrigerated, the chowder can thicken up; you’ll probably need to add a little liquid as it’s warmed back up.

Best Ham Stock Instant Pot or Stovetop

Best Ham Stock Instant Pot or Stovetop

Saving Money on My Sister’s Ham & Potato Chowder:

Ham & Potato Chowder is downright cheap to make, especially if using leftover ham from a holiday dinner. If you don’t have ham leftover, you can totally rock this with a ham steak from the grocers, but it will likely be a bit more per pound.

The best way to save a little on this soup is to make it from leftover ham. Leftover ham, if you’ve found your ham at a great price, is going to be one of the best budget foods there is. I do love love love me some leftover ham! As a matter of fact, I love it so much that I have an ever-growing post with recipes for leftover ham. I call it 12 Days of Ham because I thought I’d start with a dozen recipes. Well, I couldn’t stop there. I think I’m well over 50 recipes now.

Both potatoes and onions are usually a better deal in larger packages. Watch the sales, especially on potatoes and especially around holidays. Aldi has great pricing on both, but do check any bags closely, whether from the store or especially Aldi to make sure all are sound. If either is in plastic, remove it, place in a plain old brown paper bag so the air can circulate. Never store onions and potatoes close together and they will keep longer.

My Sister's Ham & Potato Chowder

My Sister’s Ham & Potato Chowder


My Sister’s Ham & Potato Chowder

A simple, quick down-home Ham & Potato Chowder. You might want to double this one!

  • Author: Elizabeth Anderson
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Soups
  • Cuisine: German


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, small dice
  • 23 stalks celery, small dice
  • 23 carrots, small dice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 6 cups broth, ham, chicken or vegetable
  • 56 medium potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds) peeled, 3/4″ dice
  • about 1 1/2 cups of smallish diced ham, about 3/8ths inch
  • 1/2 cup cream or 1/2 & 1/2
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • dash hot sauce or pinch of cayenne
  • grated cheddar for garnish, optional
  • thinly sliced green onion or chives for garnish, optional


Melt butter in pot over medium heat. Add carrot, celery, and onion. Cook until the vegetables have begun to soften and onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook for a minute longer.

Sprinkle flour over the mixture and cook for three to four minutes, stirring often, until mixture appears dry and has lost it’s floury taste. Add broth in increments, stirring. Bring to a simmer and add potatoes and ham, salt and pepper to taste and the dash of hot sauce or pinch of cayenne.

Simmer gently for 15 – 20 minutes, until potatoes are soft and tender, stirring occasionally. Mash some of the potatoes with a masher or against the side of the pot until desired consistency. The slightly mashed potatoes will help thicken the soup. Optional, but simmering for about four or five minutes after mashing thickens the soup considerable. Turn off the heat and add cream or half & half, but do not boil after adding. Taste for seasoning and adjust for salt and pepper.

Garnish as desired, with the cheese or thinly sliced green onions or chives. If desired, simply place out for diners.

Note: this chowder will thicken up once refrigerated. If there are leftovers, you may need to thin with water, stock, milk, or additional cream or half & half, your choice.

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You know I’ll be bringing this to our Throwback Thursday #21 Link Party, hosted by Quinn of Dad What’s for Dinner, Meaghan of 4 Sons are Us, Alli of Tornadough, and Moi! That’s right – me! Click over to our Throwback Thursday post for rules and more info or just click on the blue leapfrog, below, to view all the posts or enter your own!

As always, to view the link party or add a link, click on the little blue button below!

I’m also taking this to Fiesta Friday 102, hosted by Angie of the Novice Gardener! Thanks Angie, for all you do! She’s backed up by two fantastic bloggers,  Elaine @ foodbod and Julie @ Hostess at Heart.

Helpful Links:

If you came to this recipe looking for a way to use ham, be sure to check out the link below for 12 Days of Ham. You might want to see the sister post for 12 Days of Turkey, too.

There's nothing fancy about My Sister's Ham & Potato Chowder. It's just pure down-home Iowa goodness, warm you from the inside, simple to make & so classic. It's the perfect thing on a chilly day, maybe with a "Sammie!: #IowaHamPotatoChowder #DownHomeHamPotatoChowder #EasyHamPotatoChowder

37 thoughts on “My Sister’s Ham & Potato Chowder

    • Hi Beth, ltns! 🙂 I am SO glad you pointed this out – I’ve been a bit under the weather and prone to making silly mistakes! I usually use about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups of ham in a soup like this, but you can go less or more, just what looks good to you.! I’ll correct it right away! Happy New Years!

      • Awesome, thank you! I’ve been following your blog for a while now (at least since 2012 I think?) and enjoy reading each and every new post. I love your recipes, writing style and photos. 😁

        • Beth, I remember and thanks! You were one of the first people to ever comment on my blog! 🙂 I called my son in to show him when the comment popped up! 🙂 It was that kind of thoughtfulness that helped keep me going; it really is often the little things in life! 🙂 And I’m sure you remember my first photos, oh my, but I am finally starting to feel more confident about them! 🙂

  1. I am definitely in the mood for soup this month, and this hearty potato soup is something I have to try. I was thinking of making scalloped potatoes soon, but this looks better!

    • Thanks! My sister said it was TOO thick; She made it ahead and left it for us, and I guess it became a bit thicker overnight in the fridge, so that brings up a great point – add a little more cream or broth for a creamier soup, or a little less for a thicker one! 🙂

    • It’s kind of funny, but I make a potato soup that I garnish with a bit of bacon, sour cream, cheese, etc. but I’ve NEVER made ham and potato! There will be future pots of this, though!

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