Despite sunshine and 60 degrees it is still soup season at my house. We always have a couple of nice weeks in February before rainy March and April take over, and this is one of my favorite times of year to get down to the beach for a few days.
It may be cold but the sky is blue and beach walking is comfortable.
This is one of those “use up whatevers in the fridge” pots of soup,
and I have to say it turned out very tasty.
When I have a ham bone I usually make our favorite SPLIT PEA or LENTIL AND HAM soup but it’s fun to try something different and use up a few perfectly good leftovers at the same time. Cheddar cheese is delicious with the ham and potatoes. The flavors remind me of our favorite potato au gratin casserole and the peas add a nice fresh spring flavor and color.
We love HONEY BAKED HAM and I buy one several times a year for special occasions.
Their ham is so delicious and the ham bone is the base for some of our favorite meals.
Is there a store near you? Do you know that they sell their ham bones ($5.79 each)?
They are usually loaded with ham and are large enough to flavor 3-4 quarts of stock?
They sell out quickly and I buy 2 or 3 at a time so I am ready when I want to make soup or a pot of beans.
You can still make this yummy soup even if you don’t have a ham bone.
Just substitute chicken stock and add chopped deli ham just before serving.
- 1 ham bone
- 10 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ½ cup carrots, chopped
- ½ cup onion, diced
- ¼ cup celery, chopped
- 2 cups potatoes, peeled and diced
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 1-1/2 cups milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups (8 ounces) cheddar cheese, grated
- 1-1/2 cups ham, cubed
- 1 cup frozen peas
- ½ cup parsley, coarsely chopped
- Simmer ham bone in water with bay leaves in a large pot for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, till ham is falling off the bone. Remove bone and ham from liquid. Strain stock. Add potatoes and simmer until tender.
- Heat oil in a large saute pan until medium hot. Add carrots, onion and celery and cook till transparent, about 4-5 minutes. Add to soup stock.
- In a saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth, then cook for 1 minute. Gradually add milk, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook and stir for 3-4 minutes until thickened. Stir in grated cheese until melted. Add to hot stock. Stir in cubed ham, peas and parsley. Garnish with extra parsley.
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