These cold months feel so much cozier with the comfort of a steaming bowl of soup, don’t you think?
If you have leftover holiday ham in your freezer like I do, this is a creamy, delicious way to use it up.And if you double the recipe, you’ll have enough to sock away for another cold day when you don’t feel like cooking.
This soup is so creamy tasting you’ll be amazed it’s dairy free. And if you want to go one step further to make this recipe Paleo or GAPS-friendly, you can substitute sweet potato and/or cauliflower for the yellow potatoes.
Any grain-free flour will do for this recipe, but if you use coconut flour, reduce by 2 tablespoons, since it is so absorbent.
Any dairy-free milk will also work in this soup, but check the box or can to make sure it is unsweetened. (Or use your own homemade coconut milk!)
I strongly recommend using pasture-raised ham (preferably from a small farmer) for this recipe. Here’s why it’s REALLY important that you select high quality pork.
- 3 1/2 cups yellow potatoes, peeled and diced. (Or use red potatoes or cauliflower for greater nutrition.)
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1/2 pound (about a cup) cooked ham, diced
- 3 cups chicken broth or stock
- 5 Tbsp. coconut oil, Earth Balance, ghee or grass-fed butter
- 5 Tbsp. grain free flour (arrowroot, tapioca or coconut work great; if using coconut flour, reduce to 3 Tbsp.)
- 2 cups unsweetened, non-dairy milk
- 1 tsp. sea salt, or to taste
- 1 tsp. black pepper, or to taste
- 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme (about 5 sprigs, stripped) or 1 tsp dried thyme
- In a saute pan, saute the onions and celery in the fat of your choice (I recommend bacon grease!) until onions are translucent and even a little browned on the edges.
- In a stockpot, combine the chicken stock, potatoes, ham, and sauteed onions and celery.
- Bring to a boil, then simmer until the potatoes are tender—about 10-15 minutes.
- With a fork or potato masher, mash the potatoes right inside the stockpot. This helps thicken the soup and create a creamy texture.
- Continue simmering the soup while you complete the roux in the next steps.
- In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil, Earth Balance, butter or ghee, and then whisk in the flour, removing any lumps.
- While still whisking, pour in the milk. This mixture of fat, flour and milk is called a roux.
- Add the roux to the stockpot and stir in well.
- Stir in salt, pepper and thyme, to taste.
- Garnish with chives or chopped, crispy bacon.
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