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Bacon and sweet corn chowder

Chowder for supper

There’s nothing quite like extending the weekend by getting away early on a Friday evening, doing an hour or two’s walk or paddle in the half light and arriving at the hut to find someone else has a big pot of soup or chowder on the stove.

Contributed crackers, or bread rolls, make a meal of it. And if more people turn up, extra spud and onion, or cooked Risoni added later, can keep it coming. Even watery chowder beats pulling out a cooker to make your own meal late at night.


  • 4 rashers of bacon
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic crushed or finely chopped
  • 4 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 tin whole kernel corn
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup skim milk powder
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 heaped tbsp flour
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • Season with: ½ tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp celery salt, pepper to taste


Remove the rind and fat and dice the bacon then brown it in a smidgeon of butter. Remove bacon from the pan or pot and fry the onion and garlic until light golden brown. Boil the peeled potatoes, then mash. Mix the milk powder and water in a shaker.

Assemble all the pre-cooked ingredients; chuck in big pot or billy of milk. Stir until nearly boiling, then add the flour and mix to a smooth paste in a little water and stir until thickened. Toss in sweet corn and parsley. Add seasoning and serve with fresh bread or rolls or toast. Serves 8.

Camping tips and variations

* If preferring a chunky chowder, cook the potato the traditional way – dice into 1cm cubes, then add to the pot with some of the water, the onion and any other vegetables, to cook until soft. (One cup celery stalks chopped is a good additional vegetable.) Then add the milk, thicken, add sweet corn and season. At the seasoning stage, add finely chopped celery or parcel leaves.

* If camping and carting everything in on your back, use instant potato, dried onion and a packet of dehydrated peas. Salami or chorizo sausage makes a good substitute for bacon.

* Alternatively, make up the chowder at home; take it frozen in a one-litre containers (serves 3).

* If weight is a factor, prepare and cook ingredients at home make up the milk and heat through when at camp.  

Ruth Henderson