Ham & Potato Soup

>> 4.27.2010

Last Wednesday, in the middle of our gorgeous 80 degree week, we had a wet and cold day.  The weather came out of nowhere, although I am convinced the Lord, in His sovereignty, gave me this day because I had planned on making my ham & potato soup.  Well, He may not have given this weather just for me, but I praise Him for it just the same.  My parents came over just as we had finished our soup, and I witnessed my mom return to the pot again and again for another little taste.  She must have said "Oh, this is very good" at least 10 times, which, coming from a woman who's food is raved about up and down California (by those fortunate enough to have tried some) just made my heart smile.  I love that we share a love of cooking, and I love that my cooking skills don't embarrass her. =)
For those of you who are still entrenched in winter, here's a recipe worth making while the weather permits.  And please, if anyone else's mom drops by unexpected on the night you make this, you have to let me know if she too fills your home with Ooos and Awws. =)
  • 3 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1 inch squares
  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 3/4 to 1 cup ham steak, diced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 tsp celtic sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 5 TBS butter
  • 5 TBS flour (I use sprouted spelt)
  • 2 cups whole raw milk
  • cheddar cheese, opt.  
Prepare your ingredients.  This is probably as time-consuming as cooking the soup, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time.  This is a great recipe to let your kids help you with~ I gave my 6 year old a butter knife and he diced my ham, carrots and celery.
In a large saucepan or dutch oven, saute your onion in the olive oil, about 3-4 minutes.  Add in the carrots, celery and ham and cook another 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until the ham starts to slightly brown.
 Next, add in the wine and deglaze your pan, then incorporate the potatoes, cooking another 5 minutes or so.  If you'ld like, after the onions are sauted you could add in the other ingredients at once and cook for a few minutes, or even wait and add it all with the chicken broth.  I add in stages to bring out the flavor in each ingredient separately.  
 Add in your chicken broth, sea salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan melt butter on med-high heat.  Whisk in flour to make a rue~ make sure to whisk quickly and until there you have a smooth paste. 

Slowly pour the milk into the rue, whisking continuously.  After incorporated, cook on med-high heat for 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened, then add it to the soup and stir well.  For a chunkier soup, take a potato-masher and mash soup several times.  For a creamier version use a immersion blender.
Top with some shredded cheddar cheese and pair it with a slice of spelt buttermilk bread, and enjoy!

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop
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