Chef John's Ham and Potato Soup

Ingredients 1 ½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced 1 medium onion, diced 1 medium carrot, diced 1 rib celery, diced

8 ounces smoked ham, diced 3 cloves garlic, sliced 3 tablespoons butter ¼ cup flour 4 cups chicken broth

2 cups water ½ cup heavy cream salt and pepper to taste 1 pinch cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives for garnish

Directions Heat butter in a stockpot on medium until golden brown. Add carrot, celery, onion, ham, and garlic and simmer for 5-6 minutes until softened and onions transparent.  

Mix in flour and fry 3 minutes. Add chicken broth cup-by-cup. Add water and mix. Heat on high and simmer. Simmer 15 minutes on medium-low, stirring periodically.  

Check the broth for salt and add more. Add potatoes and simmer for 15 minutes until cooked. Skim fat if desired.  

Mashing the soup several times with a potato masher leaves lots of potato bits. Adjust salt and pepper, add cayenne, and add cream. Mix and heat. Top with fresh chives.