Potato and Ham Soup

It's cold! What warms you up better than a rich filling soup made with smoky ham and sharp Australian cheddar?

- 2 cups red potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 3 tb butter
- 1 small onion, chopped fine
- 3 tb flour
- cayenne (red) pepper
- black pepper
- 3 cups milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 half-inch slice of WSM's Virginia Baked Ham
- 1 cup shredded Australian cheddar cheese
- fresh chopped parsley or chives for garnish, if desired

Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender. Drain; reserve 1 cup of the liquid. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring, until tender. Stir in flour; season with red and black pepper. Cook for about 3 more minutes, stirring. Add potatoes, reserved liquid, milk, and salt; stir well. Add ham; simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and let cool for about 5 minutes. Add cheese; stir until melted. Top with fresh parsely or chives, if desired. Serves 3 to 4.