Autumn is quickly approaching and with Fall in the air, I have been starting to crave a hot bowl of soup. I don’t have a lot of from scratch soup recipes, so I decided this year I am inspired to try some out to add to my recipe book! What I like about soup is that it’s usually fun and easy to prepare, you can put it in a crock pot to have later. Plus- usually soup is a healthy,balanced meal complete with veggies and protein. The first new soup recipe I made to (prematurely) kick off Fall (Hey it did drop down to the 50’s tonight!) is for a hearty-
Potato Ham Soup!
- 3 medium sized potatoes, peeled & cut into small cubes
- 2 cups water
- 1 small onion
- 3-4 TB of butter
- 3-4 TB of flour
- crushed red pepper flakes
- black pepper (I grind mine from a pepper mill)
- 3 cups milk
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup smoked ham-cubed or cut in pieces
- 2 TB real bacon bits or 2 strips of cooked smoked bacon, crumbled (bacon is optional, but I did use bacon in mine)
- Dried Parsley for garnish
- Optional-oyster crackers or cheddar gold fish crackers for garnish
Directions: Cover the potatoes with the 2 cups water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Cook potatoes until tender,but you don’t want them to fall apart, so don’t overcook. Drain the potatoes, reserving the liquid and set the potatoes aside. Pour reserved liquid in to a 1 cup measuring cup, and add water if necessary to equal 1 cup of liquid; set aside.
Peel & finely chop the onion. Melt butter in your pot over a medium heat. Add onion and saute , stirring frequently until the onion turns translucent but is not brown. Add flour to pan. Now add your seasonings to taste. I added a few hand cranks of black pepper, and a couple of dashes of the red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt. The Crushed Red Pepper flakes will add some “heat” to your soup, so depending on how spicy you want it , use less or more of those. As an alternative to these 3 spices, you could use Mrs. Dash original seasoning for a different flavor. Cook this mixture for about 3 min.
Gradually add potatoes, reserved 1 cup cooking liquid, milk, and sugar to onion mixture in your pot. Stir well. Add cheese, ham and bacon. Simmer over a low heat for 30 min, stirring frequently.
Pour soup into bowls and garnish with dried parsley flakes and/or oyster or goldfish crackers. Makes about 6 bowls.
I thought it was really good and if your guy is anything like mine, they will love the hearty addition of the meat to it. The smoked flavor of the ham & bacon tastes like Autumn to me!
If you want a sandwich to go with this soup, how about one of the grilled cheese ideas from a previous article Click here: “Cooking with Cast Iron & Creative Grilled Cheese Ideas” . Don’t forget to use a cast iron skillet if you make grilled cheese; I swear it makes a difference!