> 3 large leeks, white and light green parts only, trimmed
> 1 tbsp olive oil
> 3/4 cup finely diced ham (from a hamsteak or leftover)
> 2 celery stalks, chopped
> 1/2 tsp dried thyme
> 2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
> 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
> 1 cup low-fat milk
> 2 tbsp thinly sliced chives
Chop the leeks and thoroughly soak and rinse in a large bowl of water to remove grit. Drain well.
In a medium pot, heat the oil on medium. Add the ham and cook 2–3 min., until browned, stirring occasionally. With a slotted spoon, transfer ham to a small plate.
To same pot, add the leeks, celery, and thyme. Cook 8–10 min., until leeks are tender, stirring often. Add the potatoes and broth. Heat to a boil on high. Reduce heat and simmer 20–25 min., until potatoes are very tender and falling apart. Stir in the milk and remove from heat.
In batches in a blender or in pot with an immersion blender, purée soup until just smooth (do not over-blend). Season with salt to taste. To serve, ladle soup into serving bowls and top with ham. Garnish with the chives and season with pepper.