In an attempt to clear out the mass grave that is my crisper, I immediately thought of split pea soup. But I decided to step out of my comfort zone and create something new. That I crafted a soup that already exists aside, I didn’t know it when spotting a bag of potatoes in the pantry, I got the brilliant idea for a baked potato soup. I figured with the ingredients on hand anything I made would be decent. Instead this is one soup I will be making again–an instant classic.
In a combination of chicken stock and water, simmer 1 ham hock for 80 minutes, adding liquid when it cooks down too much. (You should always have a stockpile of ham hocks in your freezer, and not the icky, nearly meatless ones they have at the grocery. The farmers market hocks are a different species.) Add a half dozen plus medium-sized potatoes, quartered, some sprigs of thyme, a bay leaf, and some salt. Simmer 40 minutes more and then remove the ham hock and herbs before using a hand blender to puree. Add to the pureed soup the diced meat from the hock, chopped scallions, broccoli, and parsley. Cook 10 minutes and then stir in some sour cream and salt to taste. Serve with grated cheese, hot sauce, and black pepper.