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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Recipe: Ham and White Bean Soup

Here in the Pacific Northwest our mornings and evenings are becoming more fall like, with a slight chill in the air, even though our days have still been warm. Along with the fact that our oldest daughter is playing HS soccer and has games Tuesday and Thursday evenings and our youngest has practices on those same days, I've been in the mood to make soup. Soup is such an ideal meal because it can be thrown in the crockpot and ready to eat when everyone gets home. It sure beats take out or fast food. Right now I have yummy split pea soup cooking away and smelling up our house to be gobbled up after a game and practice. 

On Monday I made a pot of Ham and White Bean Soup. I have decided that soup is just better the second day, wouldn't you agree? I have all these beautiful jar of beans on my shelves waiting to be used, but I always forget to soak them...silly me! This time I remembered and plan to remember from here on out because there are a lot of soups on the menu in the weeks to come. 

You'll want to add this recipe to your box. You could also add some diced potatoes or maybe even sweet potatoes. I like it's simplicity though. 

Ham & White Bean Soup
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:

2 c. dried white beans (or 2 cans, drained and rinsed)
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2-1 tsp. dried thyme
2 carrots , peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, peeled and chopped
1/4-1/2 c. chopped onion
1 qt. chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 pound ham cubes or ham of your choice
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder and onion powder to taste
generous portion of swiss chard and spinach, chopped
freshly grated parmesan cheese to top

Instructions:

1. If using dried beans, soak overnight making sure water covers beans by at least 3 times the amount of beans. Drain and rinse.

2. In a large soup pan, saute onions in olive oil till tender. Add carrots and celery and saute another 5 or so minutes. 
3. Add broth, beans, seasonings and enough water to cover the beans...this would depend on your desired thickness...but covering the beans by 2" is usually perfect. 
4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer till beans and veggies are tender, about 30-40 minutes. 

5. During the final few minutes, add chopped chard and spinach..I like it slightly wilted but not so much that the color has faded. 
6. Remove from heat, transfer to serving bowls and serve with a sprinkling of fresh parmesan cheese and crusty bread.

With Joy UNquenchable,

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