I always look so forward to playing with leftover holiday meats! This Christmas I roasted a ham, and it was absolutely delicious!! I whipped up a super light glaze just so that I could made soups with it, (and not worry about a heavy coating on the ham mucking up the broths), and it could not have worked out better! Still super flavorful to enjoy as an entree, but so much easier to use for sandwiches and in dishes afterwards!
I made two pots of soup with it this time. One mega pot of Hearty Ham ‘n Bean Soup for the hubs, (tradition!) And this new, rich and creamy-cheesy soup for myself! (Which, surprisingly, the hubs actually flipped over, too!) I’ll definitely have to make more next time!! 😉
This really was such a wonderful soup! As I’m writing this, I have just 2 servings left….I will be very sad to see the bottom of this pot!
I mostly just used what I had on hand in the fridge and pantry, all except for the splurge on some delightful Jarlsberg swiss cheese! If there’s one thing we always spoil ourselves on a little bit, it would be cheese! 😀
I don’t know of anyone else other than maybe dairy farmers who eat more cheese than us! Seriously. We have a major problem. I don’t know that we don’t go a single day without enjoying even just a little cheese. 😉
If your not big on the swiss cheese family, you could certainly use any variety of cheddar or co-jack.
The vegetables are completely up to you, too. You can add or sub broccoli, cauliflower, parsnips, peas, green beans, lima beans, spinach, squashes, asparagus, artichokes, mushrooms, or even black-eyed peas! Always just add what you and your family prefer.
Although you can sub evaporated milk for the heavy cream, it just wouldn’t be the same if you sub milk or even half & half. The secret to rich and creamy soups truly is the heavy cream. I won’t sub margarine for butter, and I won’t compromise on this, either. 😉 Just have a small bowl with a side salad for lunch, and believe me, it won’t kill you. If you leave the table unsatisfied, you’re more likely to crave something more, and end up indulging in snacks and sweets. So enjoy your meals. Life is too short to not have fun!
If you’ve never cooked with leeks before, don’t worry, they’re super simple to work with! Just slice off the root end and most of the green tops, the same way that you would any other onion. Then slice in half lengthwise. If there’s a lot of mud on them, rinse that off. Then just slice the two halves into 1/2 – 1″ slices. Add them to a bowl of cold water, give them a swish, and let them sit. The dirt and sand will sink to the bottom. Then just fish them out with a strainer and you’re done! 😀 See? Easy! 😉
If you don’t have any fresh leeks where you are, you can of course sub regular onion, but do pester your produce manager into stocking some for you! They’re usually pretty helpful, and leeks are so very good.
So if you have leftover ham to play with hanging out in your freezer, do keep this incredibly delicious soup in mind! My hubby about flipped over it, and it’s one of my top favorites as well! Super creamy, chock-full of wonderful veggies and melt-in-your-mouth-tender chunks of ham, and the velvety smooth, rich and nutty taste of Jarlsberg cheese!
A taste of heaven in every spoonful! Hope you all enjoy, take care, stay warm, and I’ll see you soon! ~Kelly