Melt butter and saute onions until soft and transparent. Add the ham, potatoes, water, salt and pepper (to taste) and cook, covered, until the potatoes are done (easily pierced with a fork). Add the corn and the milk and heat thoroughly. Do NOT boil. Serve with fresh bread.
NOTES: A hearty corn soup -- This recipe comes from my mother-in-law and is a family favorite. It makes a good, hearty meal when served with fresh bread or rolls. erves 2-4 people.
* If you don't have any ham, you can substitute 6 slices of bacon. Fry up the bacon and remove from the pan. Saute the onions in the bacon fat and continue from there. Crumble the bacon and add with the milk and corn instead of with the potatoes. Bacon gives a slightly different flavor. Note that many stores offer canned ham in 6 3/4-oz cans, packaged like tuna fish.