Every really good fairy tale must have a villain. This one has two.
Once upon a time, 5 pound bags of potatoes were on sale for 69 cents. The grocery store sign whispered that any one customer could purchase up to 6 bags. So, I did. Why did I need SIX bags of potatoes? I don’t know. It appears I’m easy prey for suggestive advertising.
On another day, not too long afterward, a sign in Costco encouraged shoppers to stock up on Christmas ham. The hubby doesn’t even really like ham. I don’t even really like ham (much too much pressure for my weakened Holiday Will Power to refuse). But, that sign said it was a good idea. So I purchased a 328 pound ham.
Ham and Potatoes. Those are the bad guys in this story.
But, fear not. A certain fair maiden wearing Ugg boots and a curly ponytail conquered them yesterday in her kitchen. She baked and chopped and stirred them up. She cooked and seasoned, and covered them in obscene amounts of whole milk then topped them with bacon and cheese and green onions.
Thus ended the reign of the Potato & Ham leftovers. And, thus began the noble and glorious reign of the White Potato Soup.
Loaded Baked Potato Soup
4 stalks celery, finely diced
1 large onion, very well chopped
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
32 ounces cups chicken broth
4-6 cups whole milk
2 cup chopped ham (optional)
6 baked potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
Toppings: bacon bits, sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped scallions
In a large pot, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium high heat and saute the celery and onion until they are quite soft, about 4-6 minutes. Add the remaining butter to the pot. Once melted, whisk in the flour to make a thick roux, then turn the heat to medium and slowly whisk in the chicken broth, taking care to whisk out any chunky, floury pieces. Stir in the milk (four cups of milk, if you'd like a thicker soup, and more if you'd like your soup texture to be thinner).
Stir in the ham & baked potato pieces (Note: if you don't have baked potatoes lying around the house, you can either cook them until tender in the microwave--just clean them thoroughly, pierce them with a fork, and zap 'em for approx. 15 minutes--or peel & boil them in a pot of salted water until soft & tender. Either way works!) Salt & pepper to taste. If you're like us, you'll probably want a good amount of salt & pepper to really flavor that soup!
Serve with your favorite baked potato toppings. Enjoy!
Got Ham Leftovers? Too Many Potatoes in Your Pantry?
Tell me what you’re doing to eat them up. I’d love to hear!