Shoestring Meals - Ham and Potato Soup

I have a very good friend who makes delicious soup. She is really a queen of frugality because she rarely lets leftovers go to waste but turns them into delicious soups and stews and yummy tummy warming meals. I am not normally a soup maker. I'm too impatient to take the time to do it right. So when our families have Thanksgiving dinner together I make the turkey but she takes home the carcass to simmer it into stock and turn it into soup. If my kids are lucky they'll be over at her house when she makes the turkey soup and so get to enjoy the American tradition of left over turkey soup (since they don't get it at my house).

Today - oh my friend will be so proud of me - I am making soup. Yesterday we bought a bone - in ham to take to a pot luck and after we sliced the meat off, there was the bone left with all of this delicious meat still clinging to it. I just couldn't bring myself to be wasteful and throw it away so I decided to make ham and potato soup for dinner. Since we got the ham on sale I'm feeling very frugal as I make two meals out of it. The ingredients for this soup are all things that I normally have in my pantry anyway so I don't have to run to the store which saves me even more money because if you run to the store for one thing you always take the chance of buying four more things that you don't really need.

I want you to know that it's not that I can't make soup, it's that I don't very often. Here is my recipe for Ham and Potato soup.

You will need:
Ham bone
1/2 a sliced Onion or healthy sprinkle of onion powder to taste.
salt and pepper
1 Tbl fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf ( I never have a bay leaf handy so for me this is optional)
6 potatoes peeled, cubed and cooked
2 Tbl butter
2 Tbl flour
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp dried dill (optional, but I like the taste of dill with potatoes)

  • Place ham bone in a pot and cover with water, about 3 or 4 cups. Add onion, a pinch of salt (not too much, the ham is already salty), pepper, thyme and a bay leaf. Simmer about 45 minutes until the meat comes off of the bone easily.
  • Remove the bone from the broth and allow to cool until you can easily handle it to remove the meat.
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the bay leaf, thyme and any large pieces of onion or run the broth through a strainer. Be sure and save any small pieces of meat that came off of the bone while simmering. You can discard the onion or include it in the soup.
  • In a blender or food processor, place the cooked potatoes and about 1 1/2 cups of the broth from the ham. Blend until smooth; a minute should do it.
  • In a saucepan melt the butter and then stir in the flour.
  • Add the milk all at once to the butter and flour mixture.
  • Stir in the potato mixture and the rest of the broth.
  • Add the ham.
  • Add the dill.
  • Cook and stir over medium heat until the soup is heated through.

That's it! An easy peasy deliciously frugal soup to warm the tummy and the heart on a cold winter day.
What's your favorite soup to make?

image by stock.xchng

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It sounds like alot of work but so delicious and nutritious. Invite me over next time you make it.