Creamy Potato, Gnocchi and Ham Soup

Today I was looking at the pouring down, cold rain and wondering what to make for supper.  Then I stood in front of my open refrigerator staring at the leftover ham from Easter and wondered what else can I do with it? Potato, Gnocchi and Ham Soup…

Then a friend suggested ham and potato soup. It sounded wonderful and then for some reason that I can’t explain, I started craving gnocchi.  I searched and searched everywhere for soup recipes that contained ham, gnocchi and potatoes.  I couldn’t find one that had all three, so not to be defeated I came up with this recipe, Creamy Potato, Gnocchi and Ham Soup.  It is totally my own!  It is warm and yummy and delicate.  But so easy to make.  My recipe made enough for 5 people with seconds and a little leftover for lunch tomorrow. It took about one hour total time from start to finish.  Try it and tell me what you think!

Ingredients:

8 medium potatoes cubed

1 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. garlic

1/4 tsp. thyme

salt

1 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

2 chicken bouillon cubes

3 cans of chicken broth

1 cup of half and half

2 cups of chopped ham

1/2 tsp. pepper

1/2 stick butter

4 tbsp. flour

1 16 oz. package of gnocchi

Directions:

Boil potatoes in a large pot of water with bouillon cubes and a little salt.  Cook till just done and then drain.  In a large pot melt butter on a med. low temp and then sprinkle in flour. Let flour cook in the butter for a few minutes to get rid of the flour taste.  Then with a whisk mix the butter and flour together in a paste and add onion powder and garlic powder and mix well.  Turn the temperature up to high to get a boil and add stock one can at a time and whisk well with each one.

When stock is boiling and well mixed add the potatoes back in and the ham.  Allow to cook till potatoes are tender.  While stock is boiling add gnocchi.  Stir often.  Cook till gnocchi is tender, about 3 minutes.  Turn down to medium and add half and half, thyme and pepper.  Add cheese and stir until completely melted and mixed into the soup.  Adjust salt and seasonings if needed.

Suggestions:  Serve topped with shredded cheese, add diced cooked bacon, try Italian sausage instead of ham.  For a little heat add a dash or two of cayenne powder.

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