Friday, March 14, 2008

Potato Ham Soup

Total time Start to Finish:  1 hour

3 1/2 cups diced potatoes (peel if you prefer)
1/3 cup celery
1/3 cup onion
3/4 cup cooked ham (I chunk it but you could dice as well)
2 cups water
1 can chicken broth (or fresh stock if you have some)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon basil
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk

Sautee the onions and celery in one tablespoon of the butter. When the onions become translucent, add the potatoes, broth and water in a deep pot. Bring to a boil and then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender. Add the seasonings and let simmer.

In a separate 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 (like making a gravy. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.

Slowly stir the milk mixture into the soup and cook until heated through. Serve immediately.

Variations:

Add cheese: 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese or ½ cup Pepper Jack and ½ cup cheddar for a little zip. (add the cheese after you’ve thickened the milk sauce or it will lump at the bottom of the pan.

Add a can of corn (drained).

Omit the ham and add clams.


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