Use Up That Hambone Soup
1 ham bone with visible meat (if you're worried there's not enough, add some more slices from the ham to the pot)
1 medium onion, diced
1-2 stalks celery, diced (1 if a smaller bone, 2 if larger)
1 tsp. pepper
4 potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
1 stick butter
1/2 c. flour
2 c. half and half
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 bay leaves
2 tsp. chopped cilantro
Salt to taste
In a large stockpot, combine the first four ingredients. Add enough water to just cover the hambone. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then lower heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the meat can be easily shredded from the bone with a fork. Remove bone and any extra pieces of meat from the pot. Shred ham, discarding any fat and the bone. Return the meat to the pot. Add the potatoes, bring back up to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender.
While the potatoes are cooking, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Be careful to not let the butter brown. Add flour, whisking constantly until fully combined. Increase heat to medium high, then gradually add half and half. Be sure to continually whisk while you are adding the half and half, being careful not to scorch the mixture. Once you have a creamy, bubbly, thick mixture that clings to your whisk, remove the pot from heat.
Once the potatoes are fork-tender, gradually stir in the cream mixture, stirring constantly until thoroughly mixed. At this point, stir in the garlic, bay leaves, cilantro, and salt. Simmer for another 15 minutes. If the soup is thicker than you prefer, you can thin it with milk. Remove bay leaves before serving. We had the soup with a loaf of fresh baked bread and a simple salad. It was great on a snowy evening!
Yes, I know I still owe posts for a throw pillow craft and for homemade Oxy Clean. It'll get done before the end of the month, I promise!