Jul 4, 2022

Ham and Potato Soup 火腿馬鈴薯濃湯

What do you usually do with leftover ham? Thinly slice the ham and turn it into a sandwich or perhaps with an Asian approach by making fried rice?  


I know using ham for soup is one of the common approaches, but since I haven't written any recipes about it before, here's my take on (leftover) ham and potato soup.


Ham and potato soup - 


Ham and potato soup


Ingredients (for a big pot)?

  • 3 1/2 cups cubed ham
  • 1 medium small onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup peeled and diced carrot
  • 3 cups peeled and diced potato
  • 4 garlic clove
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 to 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • Some salt
  • Some black pepper


How?

Use small or the most medium sized onion, peel and dice to small chunks. Peel and dice the carrot. Trim-off the stems and dice the celery. Peel and dice the potatoes. Peel and chop the garlic cloves. Cube the ham.


Ham cubes

Use a big pot or a Dutch oven, add in butter and turn to medium heat. Once melted, add in onion, celery, carrot along with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Give it a quick stir and cook for few minutes, or till these veggies softened.


Add in chopped garlic and continue to cook for another minute or so.


Stir-frying aromatics

Transfer cubed ham and potatoes over. Give it a quick mix and cook for couple more minutes.


Stir-frying cubed ham and potatoes

Mix in flour, stir and cook till no more raw floury smell, about 2 minutes.


Cooking flour

Pour in chicken stock, use 5 cups for a thicker texture, 6 cups the most. Give it a stir. Bring up the heat and keep it at a light bubbling stage. Continue to cook it till the potatoes reach desired texture. I like my potatoes on the softer side, meaning they can be easily smashed using the back of the spoon. To achieve that, it took me about 20 minutes.


Ham and potato soup

Now switch the heat to keep the entire pot at a simmer. Pour in milk and cook till the consistency became slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.


Taste and see if the soup needs more salt, and adjust accordingly. I actually added 1 more teaspoon of salt later on. My advice is not to begin with too much salt, especially the ham can be quite salty towards the end. It's better to wait till the ham has been cooked in stock for some time, then you do the final seasoning adjustment.


Ham and potato soup

Scoop the soup to serving bowls and add some more freshly ground black pepper on top.


Ham and potato soup

If you can't finish all the soup at once and need to reheat it for future meals, note that the soup can turn thicker as time goes by. One way to do it is by adding some milk before heating up the soup. This will help to dilute the soup without sacrificing the creamy taste. 

 

Other western soup recipes:


Jun 28, 2022

Salted Chocolate Pretzel Bark

The easiest way to making it a "salted" recipe is by simply using already salted pretzels to begin with. But if you prefer to control the amount of salt used, go with the plain version. That way you can be the sole person in charge of the amount of salt that will be adding to the chocolate coating.


Salted chocolate pretzel bark - 


Salted chocolate pretzel bark


Ingredients?

  • 2 cups salted pretzel
  • 170 grams semi-sweet chocolate 
  • Some salt flakes (if needed)


How?

Line a baking dish with parchment paper, it doesn't have to be neat especially we're going to crush the pretzel in the end.


Lining baking dish with parchment paper

Set up a double boiler. Either use chocolate chips or break the whole chocolate into smaller pieces. Melt the chocolate and stir till evenly velvety in the end.


Salted pretzels

Mix in pretzels.


Mixing pretzels with melted chocolate

Pour the entire mixture to the baking dish, try to even out the surface.


Adding melted chocolate and pretzels to baking dish

Into the fridge and wait till it firms up, at least 2 hours just to be safe. Once ready, remove it from the fridge and break into smaller chunky pieces. I did it with my own hands, but of course you can use a tool like knife handle.  


Salted chocolate pretzel bark

If using plain pretzel, sprinkle just a tiny pinch of salt flakes on top prior transferring the baking dish to the fridge.


To be honest, I was too greedy on the salt for the first batch. I was already using salted pretzels but I even sprinkled a little bit more salt flakes in the end. Needless to say, my sweet and savory snack tasted like a solid sea water mess. 


So rest assured that the recipe I presented here has been tested and fool-proof. Just remember to go easy on the salt used. Worst case, you can always add more salt in the end, it's better safe than sorry. Trust me, I know.


Other chocolate related recipes: