1 butternut squash (2 to 3 pounds)
- 2 red peppers
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 cups peeled, diced potatoes
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon chicken base or 3 bouillon cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1-1/2 cups cooked, cubed ham
- 2-1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
- 3 tablespoons sherry, white wine, or chicken broth
- Chopped chives
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Cut squash in half, and scoop out seeds. Fill seed cavity halves with a little water to keep them from drying out while baking. Bake for 1 hour, or until squash is fork-tender. Let cool, and then cut flesh into bite-sized chunks. Set aside.
- Preheat broiler. Set peppers on cookie sheet, and place in center of oven. Broil until skins are blistered, about 4 to 6 minutes, turning once. Remove peppers from oven, cover with a dish towel, and let stand for 5 minutes. Remove skin, stems, and seeds. Dice peppers, and set aside.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Increase heat to high. Add potatoes, water, chicken base, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to high simmer, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Do not drain.
- Stir in ham, peppers, squash, milk, and cheese. The soup will be a little chunky. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until heated through. Stir in sherry, and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
- Ladle soup into individual bowls, and serve garnished with a sprinkling of chopped chives.
For more recipes, see Recipes Using Ham.
Valerie Boese and her family live in northeast Nebraska, where they grow a wide variety of vegetables, herbs, and fruits. The family owns and operates TarBox Hollow Poultry.