Hey! I do have leftovers... let's see what I can come up with!
After raiding the fridge, here is what I found:
I sure wish I had celery. Oh well. If you have it, I recommend slicing some thin and adding them with the carrots & bell pepper.
Speaking of the bell pepper, I wish mine was red instead of green, but it isn't, so green will have to do. Honestly, I don't know if I even need a bell pepper for potato soup, but I have it, so I will use it. Logical, right? So, yeah, use whatever veggies you have on hand, if you think it will taste good.
Here's what I used:
about 1 TB butter or oil or bacon fat or whatever you want to use here
1/4 cup shredded carrot
1/8 cup finely diced bell pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped onion (I used a red one, but any color will do)
1 clove of fresh, minced garlic
1/2 cup diced, cooked ham
4 TB flour
4TB fat (butter or bacon fat would be awesome. I usually use a combo of bacon fat and Smart Balance. I seriously need to go to the grocery store, so this time I just used canola oil.)
2 cups milk (plus extra if you want a thinner soup. I like a thick potato soup, myself.)
2 cups water
1 TB chicken bouillon granules (yes. I love using this stuff. please don't judge me.)
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp pepper (or to taste)
1/2 tsp dried parsley flakes (optional)
2 cups mashed potatoes (thought I forgot about them, didn't you?)
Here's what I did:
I heated 1 TB butter (again, you can use oil or bacon fat... mmmmm... bacon fat...) in a large saucepan on medium- medium high heat. Once it was melted, I added the carrot and bell pepper. Cook, stirring for about 2 minutes.
Now, add the onion and cook, stirring, for another minute.
Add the ham and garlic, and cook another minute or two.
Remove the ham and veggie mixture from the pan and set it aside. Turn the pan down to medium-low heat, and add the 4 TB of fat of your choice. once it is melted (if need be), add the flour. Stir this until it is well combined, and let it cook for a minute so that the flour doesn't have that "raw flour" flavor.
Here's the tricky part... well, not really. It's quite simple, actually... if you do it right.
Pour a little bit of the milk at a time into the flour/fat mixture, while whisking constantly.
You need to make sure you just use a little milk at a time AND whisk constantly (yes, I know I just said that), so that you don't get lumps. You can use a whisk or a fork (I just use a spatula.. you can do that too, but if this is your first time making a roux, I recommend a whisk) to stir in little bits of milk, until the mixture is smooth. Just keep stirring and adding milk until you have used all 2 cups of milk and your mixture is smooth.
Next, stir in the water and bouillon granules.
Now, add the salt, pepper, and dried parsley flakes.
Stir in the mashed potatoes until they are worked into the soup.
Add the ham/veggie mixture.
Let it cook for a few minutes, until the soup is heated through.
If you want a thinner soup, add a little more milk.
That's it. Quick and Easy, right?
Here's what I got: