Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ham and Potato Soup

I enjoy buying hams because I can get a lot of meals of out them.  I am often able to get a spiral ham for well under my meat spending limit of $2/lb. I bake the ham per the directions and we'll have a nice dinner of spiral honey-glazed ham, mashed potatoes, some sort of veggie, and bread.  Even if we have company over, we end up with A LOT of leftovers, so I separate the rest of the ham into single portions and freeze in zip-top bags.  The ham can either be used in other recipes, in sandwiches, or as another ham dinner.  One of my family's favorite meals to make with leftover ham is ham and potato soup.  Even my husband, who doesn't like soup, enjoys this meal!  I typically serve it with cornbread or crusty bread.

Ham and Potato Soup
4 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup fully cooked ham, diced
3 1/4 cups water
2 Tbsp. chicken bouillon
Ground pepper, to taste
3 Tbsp. butter
5-6 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 cups milk

Combine potatoes, celery, onion, ham, and water.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium until potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.  Stir in bouillon and pepper.

A chunk of the spiral ham I froze and thawed.
Because it was a spiral ham, it made dicing it quick and easy!
In a separate pan, melt butter over medium heat; add flour and whisk about 1 minute.  Slowly add milk and cook, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, or until milk thickens.
The butter and flour will reach a thick past-like consistency.

Add the milk mixture into the ham mixture; cook until heated through.

Sometimes, it still isn't quite as thick as I like it so I take a tablespoon or so of liquid from the soup and mix it with a tablespoon or two of flour to make a thick paste.  I then add a little more liquid, making sure it's well combined with no lumps, then add it to the soup and cook a little longer.

Some liquid from the soup.
I added flour to the liquid to make a paste.
Added more liquid to the paste before pouring it back into the pot of soup.

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