What’s Cooking

It seems that now matter the size of the ham or the size of the crowd around the table there are always leftovers. And there are always lots of recipes for left over ham besides thick cut sandwiches. I found this one from the leftovers from our New Year’s Day dinner. A warming soup just right for a grey, cold, and dismal day.

Ham and Potato Soup
From Chef John at Food Wishes
Servings: 6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes

1 medium onion, diced
1 rib celery, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
3 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
2 cups smoked ham, diced
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
4 cups chicken broth (preferably unsalted)
2 cups of water
1 1/2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 cup heavy cream
Dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Chopped chives (optional)

Melt butter over medium high heat in a stockpot or dutch oven.
When it becomes golden brown stir in the carrot, onion, celery, ham and garlic; cook and stir for 5-6 minutes until the vegetables are soften and the onions are translucent
Stir in flour; cook for about 3 minutes to get rid of the raw taste.
Stir in the chicken stock 1 cup at a time stirring well after each addition.
Add water and stir to combine.
Bring to a simmer on high heat; Simmer on medium-low for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
Taste the soup for salt and add more if necessary.*
Stir in potatoes; cook for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are tender.
With a potato masher, mash the soup seven or eight times to break up a few of the potatoes and release the starch. This will thicken the soup.
Season with salt and pepper to taste; add the cayenne if using.
Add the cream and stir to combine.
Serve garnished with chives if using.

*Notice that salt is not added until this point as ham can be very salty so it is best to wait to see if it is needed.

Though I am still not eating solids Laurent has been my official taster for spicing etc as well as the guinea pig for new recipes. He assures me that without bias it is very good.

The word for January 3rd is:
Bias bī′əs: [noun]
1.1 A line going diagonally across the grain of fabric.
1.2 preference or an inclination, especially one that inhibits impartial judgment.
1.3 An unfair act or policy stemming from prejudice.
French biais, slant, from Provençal, perhaps ultimately from Greek epikarsios, slanted.

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