Charleston Wine + Food

Warm up your fall with a delicious, exclusive chowder recipe from Matthew Register of Southern Smoke BBQ! This recipe, along with a culinary exploration of some of the South’s tastiest areas, will be featured in Matthew’s new cookbook, Southern Smoke. Whether you’re a culinary novice or a seasoned pro, Matthew’s book makes the perfect addition to any cook’s home library.

The idea for collard chowder was partly inspired by clam chowder, one of my favorite cool-weather treats. . . but also by thrift. I desperately wanted to find a recipe that could make the most of the extra cooking liquid that normally goes down the drain after cooking huge piles of collards. Just like clam chowder, this soup features heavy cream and potatoes. However, clams and collards are not a classic combination! Instead, I switched out the protein for the classic collard companion: country ham. From there it was a matter of dialing in the spices. I originally tried it as a spicy soup, featuring cayenne. However, I eventually realized this soup was more delicious with a mixture of turmeric and black pepper.


Serves 8 to 10

8 ounces (225 g) country ham, diced

1 large sweet onion(4 ounces), diced

2 tablespoons (28 g) salted butter

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

3 cups (710 ml) collard stock (see below)

3 cups (330 g) diced Russet potatoes

3 cups (540 g) cooked collards (see below)

1 cup (235 ml) heavy cream

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper



In a large stockpot, cook the ham over medium heat until it starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in the onion and butter. When the onion starts to become translucent, add the turmeric and stir. Add the collard stock and potatoes and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the collards, heavy cream, and pepper. Give the pot a good stir. Cook the chowder for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot with a slice of cornbread.

Collards and Stock

If you don’t have collards already cooked, this is a basic recipe to get the stock and cooked collards you’ll need for the chowder.


Makes 3 cups collard greens and 4 cups stock                                                                                

2½ pounds (1 kg) collard greens,

coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon (18 g) kosher salt

6 cups (1.4 l) water


Combine all of the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the collards are tender. Drain the collards, saving the stock. You only need 3 cups of stock for the chowder. Freeze the remaining cup of stock to use in vegetable soup.

Recipe courtesy of:

© 2019 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc.

Text © 2019 Matthew Register

Image courtesy of:

Food Seen

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