Thursday Recipe Blogging

I meant to put this up yesterday but never got around to it. We have a TON of leftover ham from Easter, so I’ve been trolling through my recipe files for creative ways of cooking it. A person can only eat so many ham sandwiches, you know? Anyhoo, I came across this recipe that I’d saved from November’s issue of Bon Appetit, and hello, GOOD. I actually think it would be good (if a little less hearty) without the ham, for you veggies out there – maybe add in some navy beans instead? Anyway, it’s a great combination of flavors and only takes one pot. Also it has bourbon in it. SO YOU KNOW IT’S GOOD.

Sweet Potato Soup with Ham
(Bon Appetit, November 2007)

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 lb yams (about 2), peeled, cut into 1.5 inch pieces
1 large russet potato, peeled, cut into 1.5 inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped (I didn’t have celery so I put in carrots instead, which resulted in a slightly sweeter soup)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme (I used dried)
1/2 cup bourbon
1 lb meaty smoked ham hocks (or leftover Easter ham – a great use for the bone)
30-32 oz. chicken broth (about 4 cans or two boxes; I used 1/2 chicken and 1/2 vegetable broth)
2 small bay leaves

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add all potatoes, onion, celery, and thyme; saute until vegetables begin to soften, about five minutes. Add bourbon and boil one minute. Add ham hocks, broth, and bay leaves. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer 30 minutes. Uncover soup and simmer 20 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer ham hocks to work surface to cool. Puree soup. (The recipe calls for pureeing the soup in batches in the blender, but who the fuck has time/energy for that? If you don’t have an immersion blender, which is what I used and which ROCKS for soup pureeing, then just mash the soup with a potato masher or leave it as is. It will just be a little more stew-like.) Cut meat off ham hocks and dice or shred enough for about 2 cups. Add ham to soup. If you have a cat, give the bone to the cat. (Optional step for suckers like yours truly.) Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.

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