Creamy Ham and Potato Soup without dairy? Oh yes, it’s a thing.
And it’s a thing you need in your life
Really, you do because it’s like a big warm hug in a bowl. Chock-full of veggies and big chunks of the most dreamy uncured, no sugar ham, it’s exactly what you need to ward off the winter chill and fill your belly right now.
I seriously can’t get enough of this soup right now – and neither can my 5-year-old. She asks for it everyday. I don’t blame her. I’m pretty keen on it for breakfast right now.
Seriously though, soup with kale that your young child will happily slurp down without picking out the green bits? That’s nothing short of a kitchen miracle.
Of course, the hubby loves it too. But what’s not to love about creamy ham and potato soup made without dairy or sugar – which just happens to make it Whole30-friendly in addition to being utterly delicious?
Spread the big fat love
Let’s chew the fat about fat for a minute, shall we? I just want to point out that because this soup has no added fat from the cream or whole milk you’d normally find in a creamy ham and potato soup recipe and the ham is incredibly lean – you need to add some fat. Fat makes food taste amazing, it helps you absorb certain vitamins and it’s satisfying. So let’s get some fat in there.
While you can use just about any fat to start a soup (i.e. saute the onions, celery, carrots, etc.), I wanted to keep this recipe truly dairy-free so ghee was out but lard was in. My fat of choice for this recipe is leaf lard for it’s very delicate flavor that lets the vegetables and ham be the star of the dish. If you prefer something more assertive and a little on the wild side, I’d recommend checking out the wild boar lard from Fatworks as well. It’s pleasantly assertive and like leaf lard, it’s a minimally processed traditional fat with a higher smoke point making it ideal for frying or sauteeing. And starting big pots of dreamy soup.
Enough chatter, eh? Let’s all make soup. Calling in sick to work to make soup, that’s legit right?!
Okay, the voice of reason says it’s probably not but thankfully this is a great recipe for either making ahead and rewarming (or freezing if you like to be really prepared and on it) or you can pre-chop all the vegetables and ham and store them in the fridge until you’re ready to actually make the soup – thus saving yourself 20 minutes of prep time with this last option.
You could even toss it all in the slow cooker (minus the ham and kale) and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours then proceed with the recipe as written. It’s totally your call.
But let’s all make a pact to make soup happen this week, ok?
- 1 Tbsp. cooking fat of choice (we recommend Fatworks Leaf Lard or Wild Boar Lard)
- ½ medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
- 1 large leek, white and light green part only, thinly sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 3 cups red potatoes, skin-on, ½-inch dice
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 8 oz. cooked ham, ¼-inch dice
- 2 cups kale, tightly packed, torn into small pieces (about ½ bunch)
- ½ tsp. sea salt or to taste
- ¼ tsp. black pepper or to taste
- Red pepper flakes, optional
- Place a Dutch oven or other large pot with a lid over medium heat. Add fat and when melted, add onion, carrot, celery and leeks. Saute for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally until onions start to soften.
- Add garlic, stir and cook an additional 30 seconds.
- Add potatoes, broth and thyme. Bring soup just to a boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer until potatoes and carrots are tender - about 30 minutes, depending on how large they are and how vigorous the simmer.
- When vegetables are tender, insert an immersion blender into the soup on one side of the pot and process until creamy. Stir to mix the part you just pureed into the other half of the soup (you can also remove ½ of the soup and process it in a blender or food processor then return it to the pan).
- Add diced ham and kale continue to heat until ham is warm and kale is wilted. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired. Serve.
What’s your favorite soup and why? We’d love to hear about it – share in the comments below!
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