CREAM OF POTATO HAM SOUP

CREAM OF POTATO HAM SOUP
1 pound YUKON gold potatoes
1 cup chicken broth
1 ½ cup water
1 teaspoon FRESH ground Pink Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon FRESH ground tri-color peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
3 tablespoons butter
1 large shallot, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons Wondra flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups small diced ham steak
Grated sharp cheddar cheese for garnish

  • Bring water and chicken broth to a boil in a dutch oven.
  • Add potatoes and cook JUST until fork tender.
  • Remove potatoes and save 2 cups of the broth. Set aside.
  • When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, dice one third of the potatoes.
  • Toss the diced potatoes with a pinch of salt and set aside.
  • Mash two-thirds of the potatoes with 1 cup of the steaming broth, whisking until smooth.**
  • Melt butter in large sauce pan.
  • Add shallot, sauteing until soft.
  • Add the garlic, sauteing until fragrant.
  • Sprinkle in flour, stirring to blend until golden.
  • Slowly whisk in the whole milk, heavy cream and remaining 1 cup of broth.
  • Stir in Cream of Sherry and thyme.  Simmer 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens.
  • Stir in potato puree.
  • Season to taste.
  • Add ham pieces, cooking a few minutes until ham is heated through.
  • Top with grated cheese.
  • Serve immediately.

**NOTE: DO NOT use a food processor.  Your potatoes will become gummy.

SPLIT PEA SOUP

When I went to bed last night it was a balmy 73 degrees.  As I lay there watching the news I was astounded that the weatherman said today’s high would be 46 with wind and rain.  Actually I didn’t believe him, but lo and behold I woke to thunder, rain, wind and 46 degrees.

That’s when I decided it was time to pull the Honey Baked Ham bone out of the freezer and make some split pea soup for dinner.  We’ll probably split a grilled cheese sandwich to go with it.

I’ve been making this recipe exactly the same way for over 20 years.  It’s that good – needs no updating. It’s smooth, creamy, chunky, slightly sweet and savory too! The beer gives it a pungent punch too.

I wrote and prepped this recipe and then forgot to post it so last night refers to last Sunday LOL 🙂

SPLIT PEA SOUP
1 Honey Baked Ham Bone
2 cups ham pieces
3 quarts water
1 small bag baby carrots, chopped
5 large stalk celery, leaves included, chopped
1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
2 cups split green peas
2 cups split yellow peas
1/4 cup barley
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 teaspoon basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper & white pepper mix
1 bottle beer – Mystery ingredient – choose your favorite flavor
crispy bacon pieces for garnish

  • In a large stock pot, bring ham bone* & water to a boil. Boil until the meat is falling off the bone, about 1 – 1 1/2 hours)
  • Remove the bone and let cool enough so you can cut the meat off the bone. You should have about 8 cups water left.
  • In the mean time add the carrots, celery, onion (4 cups total) and seasonings to the water and return to a SLOW boil for 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  • While the vegetables are boiling, rinse the peas and pick out any bad ones.
  • Cut the ham pieces off the bone. Refrigerate the ham pieces and discard the bone.
  • After the vegetables have cooked 45 minutes or until tender, add the peas and barley, cooking for another 1-1 1/2 hours or until peas are tender.
  • Add the beer and ham pieces back in and cook another 30-45 minutes.

NOTE*: I always save my honey baked ham bones after the meat is all cut off. I then freeze them and save them for future soups. I always get at least 2 cups of meat off when I boil the bone.

This makes a huge batch and I always freeze it in several batches (3-4) for future easy weeknight meals.  We usually pair it with a grilled cheese sandwich.

TODAY’S TRIVIA as heard by hubby on an old game show – Campbell’s soup used to fill the bottom of the bowl with marbles so the vegetables would be at the top giving the appearance of more vegetables in each bowl of soup. That trick was not done here – what you see is what you get.

Linking to SOUPER SUNDAY at Kahakai Kitchen and FULL PLATE THURSDAY at Miz Helen’s Cottage.

CABBAGE ROLL SOUP

CABBAGE ROLL SOUP
1 1/2 pounds hamburger
1 cup cooked rice or uncooked pasta
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
2 cups V-8 juice
8 ounces tomato sauce
2 cans original Rotel tomatoes with juice
+/- 8 ounces beef broth
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste
1 small head cabbage, chopped

  • In a large dutch oven, brown hamburger.
  • Drain hamburger in colander over a paper plate and paper toweling to catch grease.
  • Add onion and garlic to dutch oven, sautéing until soft and fragrant.
  • Add V-8, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and broth, stirring to blend.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Simmer over low heat 1-2 hours.
  • Add cabbage and simmer 1 hour more.
  • Add  pasta and simmer 20 minutes more until pasta is tender or add cooked rice and simmer 5 minutes until rice is heated through.

NOTE: If you like it thinner like soup, add more broth.

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.

TEX MEX MEATBALL SOUP

It’s finally turned cold here and all thoughts are on soup. While I can’t have the meatballs yet, hubby can and I will do the broth only.


TEX MEX MEATBALL SOUP
MEATBALLS
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 Jumbo Egg
1 cup cooked rice
1 tablespoon bread crumbs
SOUP
2 pounds Roma tomatoes, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small sprigs of cilantro, minced fine
1/2 small Vidalia onion, diced
1 tablespoon safflower oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 cups chicken stock
1 avocado, sliced
white cheese or sour cream for garnish

MEATBALLS

  • In a small food processor grind together the garlic, cumin, salt, pepper and onion until well blended.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the beef, pork, egg, breadcrumbs, rice and seasoning mixture until well blended.
  • Roll into 1 – 1 1/2 inch balls and set aside.

SOUP

  • In a sauce pan heat the oil and add the onions and garlic. Saute’ until fragrant.
  • Add the tomatoes and sea salt, cooking for 5 minutes until soft and tender.
  • With a slotted spoon remove the tomatoes to a blender and puree with chicken stock.
  • Return the tomato and chicken stock to the sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce to a slow simmer and add the meatballs, cooking for 30 minutes until meatballs are cooked through.
  • To serve, place a few meatballs in each bowl and cover with ladles of soup.
  • Garnish with avocado and a sprinkle of white cheese or sour cream.

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.

SWEET CORN SOUP

Chilis restaurant USE TO have a sweet corn soup that was fantastic! Then, they took it off the menu and I was forced to try and recreate it! I am very happy with the results. Today I made a grilled turkey and cheese with caramelized red onions – YUMMY!

SWEET CORN SOUP
Safflower oil
7 ears sweet white corn, kernels removed
1 large leeks, whites only, chopped
1 small Vidalia onion, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Juice of 1 lime

  • In a large stock pot saute’ the corn, onion and leeks until translucent. 5 minutes or so.
  • Add sugar and cook a few minutes more.
  • Add stock and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes or so.
  • Add heavy cream and simmer 15 minutes more.
  • Whisk together water and cornstarch until well blended.
  • Add lime juice, salt, pepper and cornstarch mixture until well blended.
  • Puree and strain.
  • Enjoy.

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.

DAY 5 ~ BLOGMAS 2017 ~ MUST HAVES

What I CANNOT live without in winter is many many things, but these are my top items! The one thing I am absolutely sure of is that if I have a sore throat, dry skin, cold feet or hands, cold food or catch a cold I am NOT happy.

I drink a cup of green tea every night and try to make very balanced comfort food meals to warm up my family from the inside out.  Here are a few of our favorite soups and stews links for you.

Split Pea Soup  

Red Chicken Chili

Black Eyed Pea Chili

Tomato Spinach Soup  

Navy Bean & Ham Soup

Chicken & Sausage Gumbo  

NAVY BEAN & HAM SOUP with GARLIC CHEESE BISCUITS

NAVY BEAN & HAM SOUP

1 ham bone with meat on it
2 stalks celery, sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, chopped
1 large shallot, chopped
3-4 fresh thyme sprigs
cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
Frank’s red pepper hot sauce
1/4 cup finely grated cheddar cheese

  • Soak the beans in room temperature water overnight.
  • Cover ham bone with water. Sprinkle generously with cayenne pepper, salt, thyme sprigs and black pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 hours or ham falls off the bone.
  • Strain the stock and separate into 2 separate 8 cup portions. Freeze 1 portion for your next batch of soup.
  • Return the stock to your pan and add the vegetables.
  • Bring to a boil. Add beans and ham pieces. Lower to a simmer for 2 hours.
  • Sprinkle with a few drops of Frank’s red pepper sauce and some grated cheese.
  • Serve with Garlic Cheddar Biscuits.

GARLIC CHEESE BISCUITS
2 cups biscuit baking mix
1 1/2 cups finely shredded Cheddar cheese
2/3 cup milk
1 clove finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons margarine, melted
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon garlic salt
2 tablespoons butter

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
  • In a large bowl, combine baking mix, 1 1/4 cups of the Cheddar cheese, minced garlic and garlic powder.
  • Stir in milk.
  • Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  • Brush biscuits with melted butter, and sprinkle with parsley, garlic salt and remaining cheese.
  • Bake for 5 more minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottom.

BLACK-EYED PEA CHILI

So what do you do with left over pot roast and a can of black-eyed peas? Why, you make chili of course!  I just happened to have all of my normal chili ingredients on hand also.  I prefer Williams Chili Seasoning packet, but I had a coupon for the Mrs. Dash so we gave it a try.  It was okay, but the Mrs. Dash won’t become my go to seasoning.
MANY people swear by starting their year out with black-eyed peas for luck.  I’m not a superstitious person, but hey it can’t hurt! As a kid I HATED black-eyed peas, but I recently found the Trappey’s brand and they are fantastic! Hubs and I ate them plain and polished off the whole can. In fact they were so good that I can’t wait to try their other beans in soups, field peas, navy, black-eyed peas with jalapenos, etc…
BLACK-EYED PEA CHILI

1 can Trappey’s Black-eyed peas with bacon
+/- 2 cups shredded left over pot roast
1 can original Rotel tomatoes
1 1/2 cups V8
1 small HUNT’S tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Frank’s red hot sauce
1 package Williams Chili Seasoning packet
salt and pepper, to taste
water to desired consistency*
cheese bread or corn muffins
sour cream and onions to garnish

  • Mix together everything except the bread and garnish in a stock pot.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer several hours until you can smell the chili calling you to the kitchen.
  • Ladle into bowls and garnish.
  • Enjoy!

NOTE*: I use about 2 cups.  I like to start thin and simmer until thick (2-3 hours) to allow the flavors to blend together.

RED CHICKEN CHILI ~ ANOTHER WINTER MUST MAKE

QUICK & EASY CHICKEN CHILI
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, frozen
2 cups homemade chicken broth, frozen
1 can cream of potato soup
1 jar dried beef, chopped
1 Williams chili mix package
1 can chopped green chilies
  • Place frozen chicken breasts on the bottom.
  • Pour green chilies over chicken pieces.
  • Top with cream of potato soup.
  • Top with frozen broth.
  • Sprinkle chili seasoning mix on top of chicken broth.
  • Top with beef pieces.
  • Slow cook on high for 2 hours. Reduce to low for 6 hours. Or cook on low 10 hours.
As the slow cooker heats up, the broth will melt absorbing the chili seasoning mix which will then be absorbed by the potato soup and by the end of the day you have a huge bowl of wonderful yummy goodness perfect for a crisp fall evening. Serve with cheddar cheese biscuits.

SPLIT PEA SOUP ~ A WINTER MUST

SPLIT PEA SOUP

1 Honey Baked Ham Bone*
2 cups ham pieces
3 quarts water
1 small bag baby carrots, chopped
5 large stalk celery, leaves included, chopped
1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
2 cups split green peas
2 cups split yellow peas
1/4 cup barley
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 teaspoon basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper & white pepper mix
1 bottle beer – Mystery ingredient

  • In a large stock pot, bring ham bone* & water to a boil. Boil until the meat is falling off the bone, about 1 – 1 1/2 hours)
  • Remove the bone and let cool enough so you can cut the meat off the bone.
  • In the mean time add the carrots, celery, onion (4 cups total) and seasonings to the water and return to a slow boil for 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  • While the vegetables are boiling, rinse the peas and pick out any bad ones.
  • Cut the ham pieces off the bone. Refrigerate the ham pieces and discard the bone.
  • After the vegetables have cooked 45 minutes or until tender, add the peas and barley. Cook for another 1 1/2 hours.
  • Add the beer and ham pieces back in and cook another 1 1/2 hours.

NOTE:* I always save my honey baked ham bones after the meat is all cut off. I then freeze them and save them for future soups. I always get at least 2 cups of meat off when I boil the bone.

This makes a huge batch and I always freeze it in several batches (3-4) for future easy weeknight meals. In this case it will be a big batch when everyone is here at Christmas.

TODAY’S TRIVIA as heard by hubby on an old game show – Campbell’s soup used to fill the bottom of the bowl with marbles so the vegetables would be at the top giving the appearance of more vegetables in each bowl of soup. That trick was not done here – what you see is what you get.

BOOZY CREAM TOMATO SOUP

Have you ever heard the funny story about cutting off the back of the ham? Zig Ziglar tells a story about a new bride who would always cut the end off the ham before baking it. Her husband asked why she did it and the wife responded that she did it because her mother always did it so that was the way it was supposed to be.

Well, her husband wasn’t happy with her “the way it’s supposed” to be answer and decided to ask his mother-in-law that same question. Her answer was the same making him more curious than ever.

The husband called his wife’s grandmother to see what her answer was. Grandma told him that she had a small oven and it was the only way the ham would fit inside.

This story always makes me laugh because grandma had an extremely legitimate reason for doing it, but daughter and granddaughter not so much. I personally like to push the boundaries and do not blindly follow without rhyme or reason, but I do stop and ask myself if there is a better way on many things.

Why  did I tell you this story? Because you’ll notice a pat of butter in the center of the soup bowl.  I did this out of habit because grams always did.  LOL I do believe it gives it a richer flavor as you eat though so will keep blindly following…

BOOZY TOMATO SOUP
2 tablespoons butter
3 medium carrots with tops**, chopped
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
3 LARGE cloves garlic, minced
1- 26 ounce box POMI finely chopped tomatoes
50 ml bottle QUALITY bourbon (3 1/2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup chicken broth
Fresh ground Himalayan Pink and Black pepper, to taste

  • Melt butter in large saucepan over medium high heat.
  • Add carrots and onions, sautéing until soft.
  • Add garlic and carrot tops, continuing to saute’, but watching so garlic does NOT burn.
  • Stir in chicken broth, bourbon, brown sugar and tomatoes.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil, reduce heat, season with salt and pepper, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, occasionally stirring.
  • Stir in half and half, heating through.
  • Garnish with parsley and Parmesan crisps.

NOTE: **You can substitute flat leaf Italian Parsley for the carrot tops.

PARMESAN CRISPS
1/2 cup grated QUALITY Parmesan

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Pour a heaping tablespoon of Parmesan onto a silicone mat** lined baking sheet and lightly pat down.
  • Repeat with the remaining cheese, spacing the spoonfuls about a 1/2 inch apart.
  • Bake for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden and crisp.
  • Cool.

NOTE: **You can use parchment paper, but I have better success with silicone.

BEEF BARLEY PASTA SOUP

3 tablespoons butter
1 pound stew meat, in 1/2 inch pieces
flour
1 large carrot, diced
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 teaspoons minced garlic
½ teaspoon oregano
1/2 cup barley
1 cup pasta
1 cup White Grenache Wine
1-28 ounce cans Contadina crushed tomatoes
4-14 ounce cans beef broth*
salt and pepper to taste

  • Over low heat melt the butter.
  • Stir in carrots and saute until soft. 
  • Add onions and garlic sauteing until fragrant.
  • Dredge beef pieces in flour.
  • Add beef to pan and saute’ until beef pieces are browned.
  • Add the wine and simmer 10-15 minutes. 
  • Add the tomatoes and broth. Stir well and simmer 1 hour or more.
  • Add the barley  during the last hour and simmer slow.
  • Add the pasta during the last 15 minutes.

*or make your own with 4 1/2 cups hot water and 3 teaspoons vegetable or beef bouillon.