Want to see what other SRC-style recipes were made during the swap? Here is the link to the SRC-style Recipe Swap Roundup
If you are a food blogger you've probably heard of the Secret Recipe Club (SRC). I've been a member for a few months and it's a lot of fun. Some of the ladies on the cooking board have been trying to get into the club, but there's a very long wait list at this point. Enter the SRC-style theme for the most recent installment of the recipe swap. Judging from the number of participants I'm planning to do this type of swap (swapping whole blogs instead of specific recipes) every 2 months or so.
I received The Cooking Nurse, the blog that brought me one of my all-time favorite soups - Chicken Gnocchi Soup. I spent some time browsing through the various categories and had such a tough time narrowing it down that I finally told SP to decide. He chose this Hearty Ham and Potato Soup. Perfect for a cold winter day...except we haven't been having typical January temps. Still, it was close to 40 degrees the night I made this, as opposed to the almost 60-degree days we've been having lately. Not that I'm complaining, because I most certainly am not. I love this weather.
This was a delicious, easy soup to make. I prepped the ingredients ahead of time so all I had to do when I got home was cook it. I upped the amount of ingredients so we were sure to have enough leftover for lunch the next day. I've said before that I'm not a big fan of soup but that's changed lately. A big bowl of hearty soup with bread for dipping is pretty darn good in my book. And PS, Baby Girl pronounced this soup "delicious," which is an automatic "make again" in my book.
This post is actually doing double duty as both my recipe for the SRC-style swap and my entry into Branny's Charity Souper Bowl. As many of you know, we had to say goodbye to our beloved cat, Dusty, on New Year's Eve. I know it's only been about two weeks but we still miss him every day. The house is too quiet. I find myself stepping around his non-existent food and water bowls in the kitchen, propping our doors with door stops to keep him from banging them open and doing my usual "locate the cat" scan of the house when I get home from work. Dusty came to us from our local SPCA so it's very fitting that I dedicate my Charity Souper Bowl post to him. We love you, pal.
Please consider blogging about a soup and submitting it to Branny for the Souper Bowl. Shelter animals will always hold a special place in my heart and organizations like the SPCA always need help caring for animals.
Hearty Ham and Potato Soup
Slightly Modified from The Cooking Nurse
2 tablespoons butter
2 ribs celery, diced (about 1 cup)
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
1 1/2 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups diced ham steak
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1 cup shredded cheddar
Melt butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and cook until just tender. Add the potatoes, ham and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and thyme.
In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.
Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot and continue cooking soup until heated through and bubbly. Add cheddar cheese and stir to melt.