For as long as I can remember I’ve eaten ham on New Year’s Day. My parents did so before I came along and continued to do so with me. And in case you didn’t know, eating pork on the first day of the New Year is supposed to bring good luck as pigs take their snout and root forward and are full of fattiness which when combined can symbolize progress, wealth & prosperity. There were some years where I wasn’t keen on the ham and other years when I look forward to it. The type of ham wasn’t the fancy spiral ones that come in a shiny red wrapper along with a brown sugar glaze, but, a canned ham that I find confusing in the sense that you can slice and eat cold, but, if you are going to “cook” it, it needs to cook in the oven for over an hour and come to an internal temperature of 140 F. My parents would always line the top of the ham with cloves, stick pineapple rings along the sides and on top and then drizzle it with light brown sugar. It’s the exact same way that I make it now. Inevitably though I always have leftovers and way too much of them. This year I decided to turn some of those leftovers into a delicious Ham & Potato Soup.
The soup starts with a mirepoix cooked in butter. And then the potatoes and ham are added and next minced garlic. To help thicken the soup flour is then stirred in and cooked for a few minutes before adding chicken stock and finally milk.
This soup is delicious… One of the best homemade soups I have made.
Ham & Potato Soup
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 cup diced celery
3 cups peeled and diced potatoes*
2 cups cooked ham, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup flour
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
3 cups whole milk
Salt and fresh cracked pepper, if needed
*I like to leave my potatoes on the larger side when cutting so they don’t break up too much while cooking
In a large pot heat the butter over medium heat until melted. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and sauté until beginning to soften (4 – 5 minutes)
Add the ham and potatoes, cook for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Mix in the flour and cook for 2 minutes.
Stir in the stock, mixing all the ingredients together. Increase the heat and cover the pot and bring the contents to a boil. Boil for 10-12 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the milk. Stir until the mixture begins to thicken.
Taste, if needed, season with salt and pepper.