When the weather gets cold and blustery, there is no food I like better than a hot bowl of chunky or creamy soup. Actually, I could go for a good bowl of soup almost anytime, but cold weather makes it taste extra good. I love when most of the main food groups get made in one pot and served in one bowl. Add some fresh warm bread if you like, but the soup itself takes care of the meal.
I made this on Halloween because I thought it would be a nice warm meal before hitting the streets for trick-or-treating. It almost never fails that Halloween brings a blast of winter-like weather–freezing rain or our first snow–but this year was really mild. Though we didn’t need the extra warmth of the soup this time, it was a hearty and filling meal before setting out on our candy mission. And the mission was certainly accomplished.
Ham and Potato Soup
*This soup does not require exact measurements to turn out delicious. You can add, omit, or change the amount of most of the ingredients to your liking.
- 3 and 1/2 to 4 cups peeled and diced potatoes (I used russet)
- 1/3 cup finely diced celery
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped or shredded carrots
- 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
- 3 and 1/2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules (you can use chicken broth instead of the water and bouillon if desired)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper, or to taste
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk (whichever fat % you prefer; more fat=richer and yummier)
- 2 cups diced cooked ham (I used some leftover spiral ham I had in the freezer, but you can also buy a ham steak to chop up)
- Combine the potatoes, celery, carrots, onion, and water in a large pot. Bring to a boil and then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
- Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt, and pepper.
- While the vegetables are cooking, in a separate small to medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk so as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4-5 minutes. Set aside.
- When the vegetables are tender, add the chopped ham and stir the white sauce into the pot of vegetables.
- Continue cooking soup until heated through. Serve immediately. Garnish with shredded cheddar if desired. Source: Adapted slightly from Allrecipes.