Welcome to my kitchen! This is a blog that is evolving as my life does. I like food, but I don't have all the time in the world to cook. So lately, I'm going with simple, easy recipes. I may switch that up occassionally and post something time-intensive, but that isn't what I'm about these days. If that sounds like you - I hope you enjoy some of these recipes.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cheesy Potato and Ham Soup

I wanted a satisfying, warm soup one cold night so we decided to try this recipe out.  And we've made it twice since.  It is also a nice way to use up that left over New Year's or Easter ham!  The inspiration for this dish came from a recipe at Allrecipes.com called Golden Potato Soup.

Cheesy Potato and Ham Soup
Serves 8

3 1/2 cups potatoes, peeled (if you like) and cubed
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp chicken bouillon granules or 1 chicken bouillon cube
3 cups water
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
5 Tbsp flour
5 Tbsp butter
2 cups milk
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups ham, cooked and diced

Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Cook over medium to medium-high heat until the potatoes are tender.  Add in the chicken bouillon granules along with the salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper - stir.

In a separate large pot (I like to use my dutch oven), melt butter over medium heat and whisk in your flour until a nice roux forms.  Add in the parsley and stir.  Slowly pour in the milk while continuing to whisk so that no clumps form.  Continue stirring constantly until mixture thickens. (Just a few minutes)

Add the cheese slowly and stir until completely melted.  Add the potatoes, ham, and water mixture to the cheese.  Stir until your soup is well blended.

The first time I made this soup I peeled the potatoes.  Just for fun-the second time I made it, I used New Potatoes and didn't peel them.  It was good both ways, but the peeled potatoes definitely made a more traditional soup.  But I like the color the New Potato peels provide when you don't peel them.
Either way-this is a comforting dinner that we will make again and again on those cold winter nights!

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