With a few simple ingredients, and some left over holiday ham, you can make a delicious and hearty soup for supper. Cheesy Ham and Potato Leek Soup is perfectly warming for the colder nights.
Last week was not fun. Here’s how it all went down. Bear with me, this is a rather lengthy post. But it has a happy tummy ending.
Monday was relatively normal. There was a winter advisory from the National Weather Service Monday night into Tuesday afternoon. Around here, that could mean anything. It could be anywhere from nothing but a little rain to a light dusting to a foot. I’m sure this is true everywhere, but there’s no way the meteorologists can get anywhere close to predicting what the weather will actually do. Sometimes they’re in the ballpark, but most of the time, forget about it.
I walked the dog around 4:30 that morning and it had just started snowing. It was powder so I really didn’t think much of it. Apparently, neither did the snow plows and salt trucks. They were not prepared and didn’t really treat the roads nor did they salt/plow while it was coming down. Consequently, I took it an hour and 20 minutes to get to work when it usually takes 40 minutes to get to work. Can I just say, if you don’t know how to drive in that type of weather… DON’T! Seriously. If there’s a line behind you and you’re in the left lane MOVE OVER!! Allow those that know how to drive in inclement weather to pass you. Doing 20 in the left lane is just nonsense no matter what the road conditions! MOVE OVER!!
Due to the lack of road treatment, S’s first shift officer wasn’t able to get to work until around 9. He’s scheduled to be there at 8. Something about a hill and no plow. My work? Ghost town. It was the first full week back and, well, most took advantage of the unscheduled leave policy. I think there were 4 of us here that morning and then three more turned up later in the afternoon? I was okay with that. I got quite a bit done that day.
The hubs…not so much. He sent me a text around 9-ish. 7 block power outage in his area. Are you kidding me? How long? Since about 5 minutes to 7 this morning. Estimated time for it to come on? 3. Okay. Are you warm enough? Yeah, I’m okay. So, I keep working.
Later in the day I get, “Not sure I’ll get out on time.” Okay. Just let me know. I’m flexible. Then I get, “Looks like I am here until the power comes back now they are saying 7pm.” Oh no. S. At this point, my mind is running through all the options of how to get home to at least let the dog out. No. I don’t have a spare key in my wallet. This will be a permanent fixture once we move JUST for this reason.
My friend, J, didn’t come in to work. I told her she needed to stay home because the roads were crap otherwise I could have gotten a ride home from the train from her. BUT she’s home…hmm…plan #2 comes to mind. It’s 4:30 and I have to metro to his work to get the house key, then head home. This involves a metro train and a bus. Fun.
I get off the metro to pick up the key and get “We are evacuating the hotel and my phone is dying. Let me know when you get here. I will have to get the key from the garage.” At this point, I’m trying NOT to panic, but I have this S is going to hit the fan feeling in my gut. I pick up the key, text my friend and let her know I’m hitting the rails and an ETA of when I’ll be at the station. Luckily, it’s pretty empty on the train and I can get a seat. This isn’t always the case on the “orange crush” line.
I hit the end of the line and now have to find out which bus to take. No. I didn’t write it down. I’m a dumb A. The bus I need doesn’t pick up for at least 30 minutes. Yay. It’s the coldest day of the year so far and here I am, standing outside waiting for a bus. Fun. The bus finally shows up and the first stop is a park a ride lot which is just a few miles from the apartment. J has the car toasty warm and drops me off at my apartment. This is one of MANY reasons she’s an amazing friend; she will do anything for you and I always try to reciprocate that. While I’m in her car I get, “Now they are saying 10pm.” F.
So, recap: S and I got up at 4:10, headed to work a little more than an hour later and now he won’t be home until after 10. After bedtime. Not to mention, he’s texting from his work phone because his personal one has died. It’s a crapberry, so you know it’s going to give out any minute.
Thankfully, there were no dog messes to clean up. Adding the extra PM walk I think helps with that. She was so good about that that I gave her extra apples after our walk.
When we got back, I was starving! I didn’t want to order something. It would get here too late and meant I would be eating too much crap too close to bed. Since this was on the menu, and wouldn’t take too long, I decided to just whip it up, which I did. And, thank you for lasting this long in my post to find the connection between this recipe and this post! LOL
I’m on the computer, waiting for the soup to simmer and the potatoes to cook, and I log onto the PEPCO website. Underground Cable Failure. Eta 10pm. So, I decide, no matter what, to stay up until 10 to find out if he’s staying or if he’s coming home. Then about 9:45 or so, it’s changed to 11:30pm. Are.you.KIDDING.ME?? “Just saw that. I am heading home soon.”
And then, to add insult to injury, it takes him almost an hour to GET home due to crap roads and construction in two spots. Seriously. Can’t buy a break today. He FINALLY arrives home around the 11-ish hour probably more close to 11:30 than is comfy. We chat a bit. He has a small drink as part of his down time after work and we head to bed around midnight. So, we nap before work the next day, because, remember? The alarm goes off at 4:10 every morning.
So, not only was this recipe delicious, it was warming, hearty, quick, and fit perfectly into the night we were having. The potatoes were delicious with the carrots, onions, rosemary, and thyme. The ham was just enough to round out the whole recipe. Any other recipe and I probably would have order crappy food.
The moral to the story is, now matter how crappy your day is, you can always have a nice, home cooked meal on the table to eat. I honestly hope y’all NEVER have to deal with a day like this one. But I DO hope you whip up a batch of this soup because it’s OH SO TASTY and the perfect ending for ANY day you’re having.
- 2 cups thinly sliced, rinsed and drained leeks
- 4 cups diced and peeled, Yukon gold potatoes
- 1/2 cup diced carrot
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 whole bay leaves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups water
- 4 cups fat free vegetable broth
- 2 cups chopped, lean, ham
- 1/2 cup fat free half and half
- 1 cup fat free cheddar cheese
- Place the first nine ingredients leeks through pepper) in a Dutch over high heat. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil then simmer until just barely fork tender.
- Using a potato masher, carefully mash a few of the potatoes and vegetables to a smooth but still chunky consistency.
- Remove the thyme, rosemary, and the bay leaves, then add the ham and simmer until the ham is heated through.
- Remove from heat and pour in the half and half and add the cheese, stirring until the cheese is melted. Serve with crusty bread to eat every last drop of soup.