We normally feast upon a turkey on Christmas Day. But this year my mother in law bought us a ham and we decided that ham and turkey would be far too much food for our small gathering.
The ham was gigantic and I felt a little bit like a Who from Whoville preparing the roast beast as I put it into the oven. It turned out beautifully. We coated it with some of our Bourbon Kissed Maple (more about this to come!) in the last part of roasting and it gave the ham a beautiful crust.
Now, what to do with the abundance of leftovers? Ham sandwiches, fried ham, put some in the freezer for when we're not tired of ham ham, and ham and potato soup!
This soup turned out absolutely, perfectly scrumptious. Which is no surprise when considering it is made with butter, cream, cheese, and ham. Just don't eat the whole pot in one sitting! (Though you may want to!)
I think the trick to the soup's creaminess is getting the roux (butter, flour, and milk) very, very well cooked (you don't want a raw flour taste) and stirred until it is very smooth and thick before adding it to the rest of the soup.
Ham and Potato Soup
3-1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup peeled and chopped carrots
3/4 cup diced ham
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3-1/4 cups water
2 Tbs. chicken bouillon granules
(I don't have chicken bouillon granules, so I used about 3 cups of chicken broth and 1/4 cup of water)
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp. pepper
5 Tbs. butter
5 Tbs. flour
2 cups of a combination of milk, condensed milk, half and half, or heavy cream mixtures.
(I used 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of cream)
1 c. grated cheddar cheese
1. Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, carrots, ham, garlic powder, water and bouillon or chicken broth and water, salt and pepper in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil then simmer over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
2. In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Use a whisk and stir in the flour, stirring constantly until thick and very slightly browned, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk as to not allow lumps to form until all of the milk is added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, about 4-5 minutes.
3. Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot. Add grated cheese and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.