The perfect way to make use of leftover ham bones. You may also just use leftover ham without the bone, just reduce the amount of water and skip the boiling step, adding more salt (or bouillon) to taste. Try adding more vegetables like green beans or even broccoli towards the end of cooking time.
leftover ham bone
6-7 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 finely chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups peeled and diced potatoes
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 – 2 cups leftover diced ham
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp cornstarch mixed in 2 tbsp water (optional)
Boil ham bone for 1 hour in 6 cups water or just enough to cover bone.
Sauté garlic and onion in a separate saucepan until tender then add to pot. Add potatoes, carrots and celery. Stir in 1 cup cheddar cheese. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes and carrots are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Remove ham bone and stir in ham until heated through, about 1-2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
If thicker soup is desired, mix cornstarch and water together then stir into pot. Continue simmering until thickened, about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve in Italian bread bowls if desired (with top sliced off and bowl hollowed out). Both the soup and bread bowls freeze well.