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Delicious Potato and Ham Soup (11/23/2007)

Delicious Potato and Ham Soup

3 ½ cups peeled and diced russet potatoes
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup finely diced chopped onion
¾ cup diced cooked ham
1 cup water
2 (14 oz.) cans Roasted Garlic chicken broth
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 bay leaf
½ tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Ground black pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
7 tablespoons unsalted butter (divided)
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk

In large stockpot, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add celery, onion and ham. Saute for 5-7 minutes. Add water,chicken broth and potatoes and bring to a boil, lower heat to medium and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Stir in the bouillon cube, bay leaf, salt and pepper.

In a separate saucepan, melt remaining 5 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4-5 minutes.

Add 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese to the white sauce and allow melting. Stir the white sauce mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup. Let simmer over low heat 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf. Serve immediately.

This week's recommended wine from Van's Liquor Store in East Dubuque-Jekek Riesling from Monterey

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