Lately I’ve been craving ham and cheese. It’s a comfort combination for me. We had from-scratch mac and cheese earlier with ham diced into it, and it’s one of the only meals everyone in our family actually eats. I like to get Beeler’s ham from our coop. It’s a bit pricey but I’m able to spread it out and use it in salads, on sandwiches, with breakfasts, or just about anything else. Another bonus- everyone in the family loves it! Obviously important to me, and rare.
I also like to challenge myself to try to make a soup that Eldest Son will eat. So far I have had zero success. Even this soup (which tastes like liquified mac and cheese!) went untouched by the boy. But Younger Son ate two bowls, which I think is a first. He generally doesn’t like soup either but does not go to the extremes of pickiness that his brother does.
To make this recipe, I looked at a bunch of different chowder and ham’n’cheese recipes and combined some methods and ingredients using what we had on hand. It turned out really well on the first try! I made it gluten free because that’s how I roll these days, but you can make it with regular flour too, if that’s what you have on hand. It was quick, easy, and delicious.
Ham and Cheese Soup serves 4, takes about 30-45 minutes start to finish
1 Tbsp bacon drippings
2 1/2 cups yukon gold potatoes, small dice
2 large carrots, peeled and shredded
1 cup broth, any kind
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup cream
2 Tbsp gluten free flour blend (I use Namaste gluten free all-purpose blend)
1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 – 2 cups ham, diced small (fully cooked)
Melt the bacon drippings in a large pot over medium-low heat. After melted, add the broth, potatoes, carrots, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Bring this mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover for about 15 minutes, or until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork or knife.
Coarsely mash the potatoes in the pot. Add the milk, cream, and flour. Whisk it together until all the ingredients are incorporated and the flour lumps are gone. Turn the heat back up to medium and stir until it has thickened and started to bubble.
Add the shredded cheese and stir until it has melted into the soup. Add the ham and continue to heat, stirring and turning the temperature down if needed, until the ham is heated through, 5 – 10 minutes.
We enjoyed this on its own (it was a use-what-you’ve got meal!) but it would have been great with a simple salad. It was voted a keeper by 5/6 members of the family, so in it goes to our rotation!