Ham and Potato Soup

I love cruising grocery stores and finding things I haven’t noticed before. A couple days ago I was walking in the deli section and noticed some small packages of cooked ham that were only about one pound each. This seemed a super-convenient size for making different meals during the week. Once I bought a couple of these, I decided to make a creamy ham and potato soup. As the weather gets cooler outside I like making soups for our family.

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Ham and Lentil Soup

When I was working for the university I used to create many soup recipes for use in the fall and winter. We went through vast quantities of soup as it was consistently a popular entrée. Every day we offered multiple soups especially as we needed to cater to students who may be vegan, vegetarian, or gluten free. One of my most popular soups was the one I present today.

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Caldo de Pollo (Chicken Soup)

Fall is one of my favorite seasons. I like the changing color of leaves, pumpkins, sunny days, chilly evenings, and wearing scarves. I tend to sleep better when the days get shorter and colder, and I love dreaming up soup and stew recipes that would not have made sense in hot summer weather. If you’ve been following my blog, you might have noticed that I have been posting a lot of soup recipes lately. My family and I enjoy trying out soups from around the globe.

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Ají de Cerdo (Pork Chili)

A few weeks ago I was having lunch with a friend. She mentioned a stew she used to have — and loved — in Ecuador. The name of the stew was Aji de Carne (beef chili). This chili was made with onion, tomato, beef, plantain, peanut, milk, and other ingredients. Just listening to her description of this flavor-packed stew made my mouth water. I immediately set out to figure out how to make this recipe in my kitchen.

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Locro De Papa (Potato Soup)

I developed my love of potatoes from a very young age. My family ate potatoes in many ways — in curries, as potato cakes, and sautéed with turmeric. Potatoes are eaten all around the world as they are readily available, inexpensive, and nutritious. In modern grocery stores there seems to be more varieties available than just 10 or 20 years ago. One of my standby favorites is the Yukon gold. Yukon Gold potatoes have a thin, smooth, eye-free skin, and yellow-tinged flesh. They have a wonderful creamy texture when cooked.

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Chicken and Corn Soup

My favorite part about going to a Chinese restaurant is getting a bowl of warm soup at the beginning of the meal, like hot and sour soup or egg drop soup. I read in an old cookbook that a meal without soup is unthinkable to many Chinese, especially Cantonese. During family meals, you put a big bowl of soup in the center of the table for everyone to help themselves. In the beginning of formal dinners, a rich thick soup is served before the main dishes, while thin “cleansing” soups may be served towards the end of the dinner to cleanse the palate.

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