Happy New Year’s. I love New Year’s. Time to spend with family and honestly to evaluate how I’ve done in my life the past year and how I can be a better person in the new year. Some may say that resolutions just depress one’s self but I think this is a great time of year for self-reflection and pondering and to set reachable goals.
I love cooking and one thing that I have been kind of lacking is my ability to make soups. They have been too thick, lack of flavor, or sometimes just a flop. SO, my goal for 2021 is to master a few soups that will be a fabulous addition to my recipe toolbox. Why do I use the term toolbox? I will tell you. Toolboxes bring the connotation of tools. These are gadgets but a much more fun word, tools. As men can always add new tools, we as women can now add gadgets without feeling guilty. My toolbox always has room for a new tool. Just like building tools will accomplish a better building project, cooking tools will perform the same result. The recipe for soup I want to share with you today is a recipe that I tried a few months ago. Absolutely delicious. In fact, I used this recipe for a Christmas Holiday luncheon. Everyone had seconds and the pot was empty at the end of the luncheon. This is also a great recipe to use ham leftovers from the holidays. Kitchen Kneads has all of the wonderful tools that will help you in your recipes. I like tools that add efficiency so I have more time to spend with my family and create a hygge home filled with love and warmth.
Each week in January, I will share a new soup and bread. With our cold winter weather, these warm soups are comforting to the soul. Some of the soups are signature recipes from my mom and daughter that I have been able to replicate as delicious as theirs. Always choose quality ingredients and have all of your ingredients on hand and ready to use. I also make it a rule that my kitchen is cleaned before starting a new project so I can truly enjoy the soup and bread when they are cooked and ready to eat.
Soup Hint: The tool that I love to make this soup is a good vegetable chopper. All of the vegetables are uniform in size, fast in preparation, and efficient. Kitchen Kneads has a variety of choppers to pick from. This is also a perfect recipe to add black eyed peas for New Year’s good luck.
Slow Cooker Ham and Potato Soup
- 8 cups potatoes (I prefer red potatoes or Yukon Gold)
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, diced
- ½ cup celery, diced
- 16 ounces cubed ham (I used black forest ham)
- 1 teaspoon salt (I use Redmond Real salt)
- ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- ¼ cup flour (I used barley flour)
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 ½ cups milk or heavy cream
- ½ cup sour cream
- Add potatoes, onion, carrot, celery, ham, salt, pepper, and chicken broth to your slow cooker or multiuse cooker on the slow cooker setting and cook for 7-8 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high.
- Using a potato masher, mash about 1/3 of the potatoes. Do this right in the pot. The ham won’t really mash that much
- Mix the flour, milk, and sour cream together in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Add to the soup.
- Cover and cook on high for an additional 15 minutes. Serve in bowls and garnish with paprika.
- Optional extra nutrition: When I added the flour, milk, and sour cream mixture, I also added ½ cup of cook grains. My cooked grains were a blend of quinoa, teff, amaranth, and millet. This adds a ton of additional complete protein nutrition.
The bread that I have chosen today is one of my favorites. I visited Amish country a few years ago and was so impressed with their culture and recipes. This bread I found in “A Farmer’s Daughter’s” cookbook. The author grew up Mennonite and had a restaurant. What appealed to me about this bread is the richness, denseness, and the fact that it can be made in a little over an hour. I love to share a loaf of hot bread with guests and this is an easy bread to have ready quick for unexpected company or just on a day that would welcome fresh hot bread.
Amish No-Knead Wheat Oatmeal Bread
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 2/3 cups lukewarm water, divided
- 4 teaspoons yeast
- 3 tablespoons molasses
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons ground flax
- 2 tablespoons wheat germ
- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 2 cups spelt flour
- 2 cups bread flour
- 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
- 1 tablespoon dough enhancer
- 2 tablespoons chia seed
- Stir honey into 2/3 cup lukewarm water. Sprinkle yeast over the mixture and set aside for 10 minutes. Combine molasses with 2/3 cup warm water, then combine with the yeast mixture. Add salt, ground flax, wheat germ, oats, bread flour, spelt flour, vital wheat gluten, dough enhancer, and chia seed. OPTIONAL ADD INS: ¼ – ½ cup of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, cherries, or nuts.
- Stir until well combined. Dough will be sticky. Spread dough evenly into a greased 2-pound loaf pan. (I love the USA brand pans. They are heavy and cook evenly.) Sprinkle a few oats on top of loaf if desired.
- Allow to rise to at least 1 inch above rim of the pan, approximately 30 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 15-25 minutes. Bake until loaf temps at 185 degrees F and is golden brown. Time will vary depending on pan size and how your oven temps.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning out of pan. Cool before slicing.
Sources: A Farmer’s Daughter Cookbook by Dawn Stoltzfus, AllRecipes