Sunday, September 18, 2011

Autumn leads to Soup

I managed to find a few minutes in the last week to make the first pot of Potato, Ham and Cheese Soup for the season. 

Using a variety of potatoes (blue, yellow, red) makes it prettier.
Using a Vermont-style ham gives a maple sweetness that balances out the chill flakes.

Making focaccia to dunk means no boring store-bought crackers.

It also means I have an excuse to use the pretty pink Himalayan finishing salt I received as a gift.

Pot of soup to myself means lots of yummy leftovers.
And not having to share strawberries for dessert!

Recipe found in a piece of junk mail years ago...  It is not kosher, halal or vegetarian (my apologies to those with dietary restrictions!)

3 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2" cubes (or a hand-full of new potatoes with the skin on (prettier)
2 cups of water
3Tbsp butter
1 med onion, chopped
3Tbsp flour
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Chili flakes, to taste
1tsp sugar
3cups milk (not skim, it's better the higher fat content you go, but 1% will work if it's what you've got on-hand)
1 cup cooked ham, cubed (Vermont-style is nice but use your favourite, or bacon)
1 cup shredded old cheddar (spring for the best cheese you can, I use 2-year old white cheddar)

Boil potatoes in 2 cups water in a medium pot for 10-15min or until fork tender.  Drain, reserving 1 cup of potato water.  (Add water if you are short). Add potato water to sugar and milk.  Set potatoes and milk mixture aside.

Melt butter over medium heat.  Saute onions until translucent but not brown, about 5 min.  Sprinkle flour, pepper, and chili flakes over onions and stir constantly, until flour is browned and onions are thoroughly coated, 3-5 min. You may want to lower the heat to med-low for this step.

Gradually and gently add potatoes and stir until coated with flour mixture.  Slowly add milk mixture, small amounts at first, stirring well with each addition.  Add ham and cheese. Bring to a low simmer.

Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 min.  Serves 4, or more if you get a little crazy with the potatoes and ham.  I always seem to add more...  It's yummier that way.


  1. Oh yum. Maybe I should rise from my current vertical position and cook something delicious.

  2. Oooh if the hubs behaves himself, maybe I'll make this soon!

  3. Um, Autumn leads to soup if you have a freakin' kitchen. Hee... this all looks yummy. Can't wait to try your recipe!!

  4. I should not have read this so long after dinner. My stomach is now growling.

  5. that soup sounds heavenly. I've never made focaccia. what recipe do you use?


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