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 grams norms…

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
small 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.

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.