1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 large onion, diced (about 1 1/4 cups)
1 leek, white and light green portion, washed and minced
1 celery stalk, trimmed and diced
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
4 cups chicken broth
2 yellow or white potatoes, peeled and thinly diced (I used red potatoes)
1 sprig fresh thyme
2 cups cleaned and chopped escarole (about 8 ounces)
1 cup diced country ham
1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1. Heat the butter in a soup pot over low heat; add the onion,leek, celery and garlic, and stir until they are evenly coated with butter. Cover the pot and cook until tender and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes.
2. Add the broth, potatoes and thyme. Simmer the soup until the potatoes are beginning to disintegrate, 15 to 20 minutes.
3. Remove and discard the thyme sprig. Puree the soup. Return the soup to the soup pot and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.
4. Add the escarole and diced ham, and simmer the soup for another 12 to 15 minutes, or until all ingredients are tender.
5. Add salt and generous amounts of pepper to taste, and serve the soup in a heated soup tureen or individual bowls.
~From The Culinary Institute of America, The New Book of Soups