Creamy Potato and Ham Hock Slow Cooker Soup is just what the cool fall weather is calling for.
For my family, the hardest part of my having a food blog is change. I never thought I’d say that about a guy who love the word so much that he’d be willing to pull up stakes and move to a new neighborhood (or state) for a new view. I’m currently working to convince him that Columbus is not an option for us.
When it comes to food, however, my loved ones get downright wary. Usually, it goes like this.
Sophie will ask what I’m making for dinner. I attempt to side-step the answer by saying, ‘stuff,’ or something equally ambiguous. When she continues to press, I give in and try a more specific, but still blanketed, answer; ‘soup.’
That rarely works either. Because the two of them know me, follow-up questions always commence; ‘is it our usual soup, is it the one from such-and-such magazine, have we had it before,’ etc., etc.
This time, however, I got lucky. When Sophie asked me what kind of soup I was making, I simply said that it was potato soup. She fell for it.
There’s really not a whole lot to say about this process. Dump in everything but the cream and let it cook for four hours. Puree half, add cream, serve.
My store had Hobes smoked ham hocks for sale so I used those.
It only took one bite for Sophie to know that the soup wasn’t her usual favorite. Sadly, after that one bite, the rest of the bowl went down the drain.
Before getting on my kid for being overly dramatic and wasting food, I ladled out a bowl for myself and took a small spoonful. Much as I hate to say it, my soup went to the same place as Sophie’s.
I did wait for my last tester to grab his serving, however. Neither of us said anything as Doug took his first bite. He actually finished his bowl, but admitted that he didn’t really like it much at all. He found it much too salty.
Apparently the ham hocks I used were salt-cured instead of smoked and they ruined the soup. Truthfully though, I don’t think we would have cared for this version even if I’d found the proper ham to use. I wasn’t fond of the thyme flavor in there. For us, potato soup should be a simple thing, delicious on its own, then made spectacular with the addition of bacon and cheese, Like Southern Living’s version from December 2011. It was awesome and it’s our favorite.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
I’d make sure that the ham hocks are smoked, not salt-cured. But in truth, I’d just make the other version.
Ham hocks: $6.98
Yellow onion: $1.49
Chicken broth: $2.75
Heavy cream: $2.79
Creamy Potato and Ham Hock Slow Cooker Soup Recipe
- 4½ pounds russet potatoes, chopped (about 10 cups)
- 2 pounds smoked ham hocks (about 3 ham hocks)
- 2 cups chopped yellow onion (from 1 medium onion)
- 1 cup chopped celery (from 3 stalks)
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic cloves (about 4 garlic cloves)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 2½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Chopped fresh chives
- Hot sauce
- Place potatoes, ham hocks, onion, celery, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper in a 7-quart slow cooker; add broth, and stir to combine. Cover and cook on HIGH until potatoes are tender, 4 hours. Remove ham hocks, and place on a plate to cool 15 minutes.
- Puree soup in slow cooker with an immersion blender until it’s creamy but whole pieces of potato are still visible. Add cream, and stir. Once ham hocks are cool enough to handle, remove all meat and chop; discard fat and bone. Add meat to soup, and stir to combine.
- If you don’t own an immersion blender, transfer half of the hot soup to a regular blender. Remove the center piece on the blender’s lid to allow steam to escape. Secure lid on the blender, and cover opening with a towel; process until smooth. Return pureed potato soup to the slow cooker.