This is a fabulous recipe made even better by taking tips from a few of the reviewers who've already posted. Nice color, nice balance of flavors, very homey and comforting! I served this with some great crusty rolls and a nice green salad, and it was a HUGE hit even with my finicky teens. Here's what I did to "doctor" it up:
First, I cut back by half on the water. Second, I added about a Tbsp or so each of fresh sage, thyme and parsley (toward the end of cooking) and maybe half that amount of dried marjoram (because I couldn't find any fresh). Third, instead of ham hocks which my family doesn't like (or need :-)), I bought some wonderful smoky ham at the deli counter, cubed it up and added about 1/2 lb of it right at the beginning of cooking, then used the remainder to garnish. I did add one chicken bouillon cube but used low sodium chicken broth and added no additional salt, and it came out nicely. Last, I added some nice-sized chunks of carrots and celery, and cut my potatoes into larger chunks too, to give the soup a more hearty flavor and appearance.
One last tip -- This recipe makes a very large batch of soup, and I knew we would tire of it before it was eaten. So I froze half of it at the stage AFTER pureeing but BEFORE adding any milk. We'll enjoy it again one wintry evening!
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This is a fabulous recipe made even better by taking tips from a few of the reviewers who've...