I too have been making this for years. Everyone that I've served it to LOVES it. I usually up the veggies (honestly, I've been making it so long, I don't even measure anything anymore). Sometimes I make it with the ham, sometimes without. Love sharp cheddar in it. Make sure the roux is nice and thick before you add the vegetables/water to it, otherwise it will be too thin. If this happens, you can thicken it up with some instant mashed potato flakes. An absolute favorite in my recipe file. Wonderful served with warm corn bread.
I have made this recipe for YEARS! It came out of Taste of Home magazine. It also calls for a can of corn, drained, or 2 cups frozen corn added with the ham. Served with homemade herb rolls, this is a little taste of heaven! My family's cold weather favorite! (Best with mild cheddar)