The following recipe makes abut 5-quarts of soup!
Would I make this very RICH soup often? No, not "often", but I would when I want something "special" because that's the category I have this in.
When I make this soup, I make a LARGE batch-- in fact, by the time I am done, I have almost filled a 6-quart enameled cast iron kettle. It's good for feeding a larger group, to serve as left-overs the next day, and even for a short term of freezing. (I can even eat this for breakfast and like it!)
To make it as I did, you will need:
12 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed/diced. (In the past, I have used peeled/cubed/diced baked potatoes for this soup, thus being able to skip boiling them in the chicken broth.)
2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth (OR water).
2 long stalks celery, diced.
1 medium-large onion, diced.
15 tablespoons butter.
15 tablespoons all-purpose flour.
2 cups heavy cream.
4 cups whole milk.
4 cups cooked ham, diced.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Garnishing of your choice when serving.
INGREDIENTS and DIRECTIONS:
1. 12 cups of peeled and diced/cubed potatoes (cut in whatever size you like). Slowly boil the potatoes until barely tender in 2 quarts of low-sodium chicken broth (or water). Drain and set aside. While the potatoes are boiling, I have the next step going-- this way, everything comes together at the end in a timely way.
2. Saute the following together in a large pan until tender:
5 Tablespoons butter (Remaining butter will be added later)
The celery, diced
The onion, finely chopped
3. Add the following to the sauteed celery / onion mix and blend well:
10 tablespoons MORE of butter (Yes, that's 15 Tbsp. total!)
4. In a quart-sized covered jar, vigorously shake together until smooth:
1 cup cold heavy cream (Remaining cream is added later.)
1 cup cold whole milk (Remaining milk is added later.)
15 level tablespoons of all-purpose flour
5. When cream and milk and flour in the jar are shaken to "smoooooooth", pour this shaken flour mixture from the jar into a large enough bowl to add and whisk together:
1 remaining cup heavy cream
3 remaining cups of whole milk.
Whisk until everything is well-blended and very smooth. To make sure I don't have any lumps of flour in this mixture when I'm done with this step, I pour this through a screen-type strainer before I add it to the kettle with the boiled potatoes.
Add the above smooth/creamy mixture to the pan of sauteed onions/celery/butter mix. Also add: 4 cups of cooked ham, diced or cubed. Stirring constantly, heat everything through and bring to a "slow boil" until "bubbly thick".
Continue heating for a minute or two to "cook" the flour.
Now, add the cooked potatoes. Stir gently. It's done!
In serving bowls, garnish with grated cheese or green onions or whatever else you like.
If you can't follow my crazy directions,
leave an inquiring comment below.