You may be reading this while tucking into a sumptuous feast of cold leftover turkey, ham, goose or turducken sandwiches, and sides of cold roast potatoes, cranberry sauce and Brussels sprouts, etc. We love Boxing Day leftovers in our house – my favourite is leftover cornbread dressing, which this year I spiked with black pudding for a Scottish twist on a Southern US staple.
But this year I saved back some roast potatoes and ham to make this unbelievably easy soup. It’s no looker, at least the way I present it, which is just as I have made it, ready for serving to my family who of course don’t want to wait while I faff with styling and garnishes. The secret, I think, is the Dijon mustard, a healthy dollop of which balances the flavour of the sweet leeks and ham, and adds an extra piquancy that is often lacking in leftovers. I won’t natter on about it as I want to get back to watching rubbish telly and planning my attack on the after-Christmas sales. I am sharpening my already-pointy elbows in anticipation of the latter. Edinburgh shoppers, you have been warned.
(Leftover Roast) Potato and Ham Soup with Dijon
A quick and dirty soup using Christmas leftovers, and a little bit of store cupboard nous. A little less quick and dirty version would be to boil up freshly peeled potatoes and fry off some pancetta, but there is something satisfying – and let’s face it, smug – about transforming leftovers into something so quick and different. You could also add in some chopped cooked Brussels sprouts for another flavour dimension. Any vegetarians who have not been deterred by the title, this is just as good without ham.
3 fat leeks, trimmed and most of the green removed, white chopped
2 tsp rapeseed oil
125g (or more) leftover roast ham (or turkey or pancetta), cut up
400g leftover roast potatoes, chopped a bit (or peeled and sliced raw potatoes)
700 ml hot vegetable stock
200 ml milk (optional, but increase the stock a bit if leaving out)
2 heaped tbsp Dijon mustard (or more to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the rapeseed oil in a soup pot over a low-medium flame and add the chopped leeks. Let these gently sauté before adding the chopped ham, turkey or pancetta. If using the pancetta, let this cook all the way. Add in the potatoes (roasted or raw) and stock, bringing to the boil before turning down to a fast simmer. Let this cook with the lid on for 15 minutes then pour in the milk and add the Dijon. Let this heat through before taking off the heat and blitzing with a hand blenderstick, leaving a few chunky bits for texture. Serve with freshly ground black pepper.
Makes four good-sized bowls. Easily doubled.