We typically cook ham during the holiday’s here instead of a turkey – I know, that should be a sin, but nobody here eats turkey. This leaves me with 2 pretty large ham bones to do something with and Potato Soup is usually the recipient of these bones. It is one of my favorite winter time feel good meals and when it’s topped off with a little cheddar cheese and a plop of sour cream and all is good in the world. I usually end up with a huge pot of soup so I always end up with 7 or 8 jars of canned soup for when our schedules get out of control and we need something quick. This is not one of those recipes you have to follow step by step…you can add or take away as your taste buds prefer and your pantry requires.
Mom’s Potato Soup
Making the Broth:
The ham bone is cooked in water to make the broth for the soup. If I have time, I do this when I cook the ham and then can the broth to use later.
If I don’t have any pre-made broth on hand I use a ham bone I froze and make it either the night before or start it early in the morning.
To make the broth, put your ham bone (don’t worry if it has meat on it) in a large pot and cover it with water. I typically add carrots and onions and a little pepper as well.
Bring this to a boil and reduce the heat some so it stays just below the boiling point. You want the water to drawn out the flavors of the ham and veggies so I try not to have to keep adding water.
I typically cook mine most of the day and then I strain it so it’s clear and either can it for later or make potato soup that night or the next day.
Making the Soup:
Grate the carrots and onions – you don’t want chunks of veggies in your soup
Chop the celery very small – again, you don’t want chunk of veggies in your soup
(how much butter you use depends on the amount of carrots, onions, and celery you have – in my opinion, you can rarely have too much butter)
Peel the potatoes and cut them into consistently sized chunks. How big is up to you – just make sure they are about the same size so they cook at the same rate
Add the potato chunks to the carrot, onion, celery mixture
Barely cover the potatoes with your ham broth
Cook until the potatoes are just starting to get tender
Turn off your heat and smooth the soup out just a bit with an immersion hand blender – how much is up to you, I like mine somewhat chunky so I only blend it just a little
Stir in the Cream of Chicken Soup & Heavy Cream
Add the remaining Butter
Now would also be the time to add any chunks of ham you may have saved
You can add more broth if you need to thin it out or more cream if you need to thicken it up.
In either case, keep a close eye on it at this point as it will stick to the bottom of the pot and scorch. Also, stir gently… the more you stir the less potato chunks you will have.
When it’s hot again, it’s ready to eat.