Succotash, a Native American dish made up of stewed beans and corn, was a welcome addition to the early New England table, and the combination later found its way into inland chowders. I found a version of succotash chowder in an old New England cookbook, its headnote claiming that the recipe could be traced back more than 250 years to one Maine family.

Serves 4


  • 4 ounces bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 (32-ounce) carton shelf-stable chicken broth
  • 1 pound red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled and diced (about 3 cups)
  • 3 cups corn kernels, cut from about 4 ears of corn, or frozen corn
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen, baby lima beans (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. salt, plus more, if needed
  • 1 cup seeded and diced fresh, ripe tomatoes (or drained, canned diced tomatoes)
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 3 Tbsp. slivered fresh basil
  • Freshly ground black pepper


    Cook the bacon in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat until crisp with the fat rendered, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the mustard and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

    Add the broth, potatoes, corn, beans, sugar and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, until the potatoes and other vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, uncovered, for about 5 minutes.

    Stir in the half-and-half and basil and cook over very low heat for 2 minutes to blend the flavors. Season with pepper and additional salt, if needed. Let the chowder sit at a cool room temperature for at least an hour; or, better yet, refrigerate overnight.

    Reheat over very low heat so the chowder does not curdle. Ladle into bowls and serve.

    From Chowderland: Hearty Soups & Stews with Sides & Salads to Match (Storey) by Brooke Dojny.

    Next Story