This soup, my daughter’s favorite, is surprisingly light but great for a cold winter day. If you have time to make it beforehand it benefits from a day in the refrigerator before serving. Cream is not required but adds a nice touch. I find the Smithfield ham slices at Sam’s Club both delicious and convenient, but feel free to use whatever ham is available to you. Serve with a nice artisanal loaf of bread.
Potato, Leek and Ham Soup
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1-1/3 c. chopped onions (1 medium onion)
4 c. chopped leeks (2 large and 1 small leek)
1 (1 lb.) slice of Smithfield Center Cut Ham Steak
7 c. water
2-1/2 Knorr chicken bouillon cubes
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tsp. dried thyme
3 cups peeled and diced Yukon Gold potatoes (about 6 medium potatoes)
1 c. heavy cream (optional)
Heat butter and oil on medium heat in a 5 quart stockpot. When hot add onions and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add leeks and sauté covered until soft about 7 minutes. Add water, bouillon cubes, and ham and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then add fresh and dried thyme. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove ham to a cutting board, remove rind and chop into bite size pieces. Set aside. Add potatoes to the soup and cook for 7 minutes or until potatoes are just fork tender. Return ham to the soup and add cream. Bring to a simmer to heat through then serve. Serves 6.