Sunday, April 3, 2011

Potato Soup

Potato soup is pretty darn good.  But you know what makes potato soup even better?  I do.  Making potato soup with a great big ham bone.

I baked a ham week before last and we've been eating from it blissfully ever since.  Every single morsel of meat has been stripped from the bone.  So last weekend, Dev's mom was in town, and I was contemplating what I should do with the ham bone I was saving in a ziploc bag in my freezer.  It was pretty chilly here, and I thought some type of soup would do the trick.  I looked around my kitchen....I had a couple of baking potatoes, the ham bone, some onions, some chicken broth....

Potato soup!  I have about a zillion recipes for potato soup, but did I look any of them up?  No.  I just made it up as I went along.  Here's what I did:

I put my small steamer pot on the stove.  It has a removable insert to steam veggies, but I took that out.  It's kinda like a tiny little stock pot.  I put a couple of glugs of olive oil in the pot, and chopped a medium onion (in a fairly large dice) and threw it in the oil.  Then I threw in the ham bone.  After a few minutes, I minced a clove of garlic and threw it in, too.  I let that sweat down for a few minutes while I peeled and diced the 2 russet baking potatoes I had.  I threw the potatoes in and let them swim around with the veggies for a few minutes.  Then I poured in enough chicken stock to make as much soup as I wanted, and added some white wine I needed to use up.  I brought it to a pretty energetic simmer and left it for about 30 minutes.  I wanted to cook the potatoes down and strip as much flavor out of that ham bone as possible.  After 30 minutes I fished the ham bone out and turned off the heat.  I let the soup sit and cool off a little.  I got out my blender and, in batches, blended the soup until it was silky smooth.  I could have stopped there, but I never use common sense.  I returned the blended soup to the pot and added a few tablespoons of whipped cream cheese I needed to get rid of, and a few splashes of heavy cream.  I stirred it until the cheese had melted in, then served it with grilled cheese sandwiches.  Dev and his mom both had plain cheddar grilled cheeses.  I had a smoked turkey, brie and mango chutney panini, cuz I'm fancy like that sometimes.

My gosh this soup was good.  It had the extra flavor from the wine and the ham bone, plus it was really smooth and silky from using the blender.  You could use this process to make any kind of veggie into soup- broccoli, asparagus, squash, whatever!  Change it up however you want to fit what you have on hand.

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