3 Large potatoes
2 cups water
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1 cup cubed ham
Shredded cheese, cheddar works nicely
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Herbes de provence
Crushed red pepper flakes
Peel and cube potatoes.
Bring two cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add potatoes and cook until tender. Drain, reserving liquid. Measure out one cup of cooking liquid (add more water if necessary), discard any remaining. Set potatoes and reserved liquid aside.
Melt butter in saucepan, add minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add flour to butter and continue cooking 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
Gradually add potatoes, reserved cooking liquid, milk and sugar to flour mixture in saucepan. Add ham. Add salt, pepper, crushed pepper flakes and herbes de provence to taste. I use about a half-teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes and a small palmfull of herbes de provence. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Garnish with shredded cheese and serve with sourdough bread, or in bread bowls.