Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Ham and Potato Soup: Quick and Simple Real Food

Get ready for this.  A flavorful soup with just two ingredients (okay, three if you count the water), that's good for you (mmm...that bone broth), and can be done in just less than an hour (really). 

If you like, add a little cream, sour cream, or cream cheese to finish.  Sprinkle the top with green onions, shredded cheddar, croutons or freshly ground black pepper.  Make it your own.  Or stop right here with just the two ingredients.  That's what I'm doing today.  Keeping it real.

If you don't have a pressure cooker, feel free to cook this for several hours in a slow cooker or a covered pot in a low oven.  You'll get great results, just not quick ones.  Keep this recipe in mind for the leftovers of your after-Easter ham.

Quick and Easy Pressure-Cooked Ham and Potato Soup

1 pound ham hocks (or a large, meaty leftover ham bone)
2 pounds (more or less) potatoes

Place rack in bottom of pressure cooker per manufacturer's instructions.  Place ham hocks or ham bone on rack.

Add about 2 cups of water to cooker, place lid on and heat over high heat until steady stream pours out of valve.

Place weight on valve.   Once weight begins hissing or rattling (will depend on your particular cooker) reduce heat just enough to keep weight hissing or rattling.  Begin timer and cook for 45 minutes. 

Meanwhile, peel potatoes and cut in to cubes of approximately 1 inch.  Keep potatoes covered with water until ham has finished cooking.

Remove cooker to sink and reduce pressure by running cold water over cooker.  Carefully remove lid and set aside.  Spoon out ham hocks with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Drain potatoes and add to liquid in pot.  Add about 1/2 cup additional water.  Replace lid and return to high heat on the stove.

When a steady stream of steam is coming from valve, replace weight.  When hissing or rocking begins, adjust heat as before and begin timer to cook for 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, pick ham from bones and set aside.  Discard bones or save to make more stock.

After potatoes have cooked for 6 minutes, remove from heat and reduce pressure using cold water method.  Carefully remove lid.

Using tongs, carefully remove rack from pot.  Add ham pieces to pot and stir vigorously to break up some of the potatoes to thicken the soup.  Transfer soup to serving bowl or tureen and serve.

Makes about 4 servings.
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