Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ham and Bean Soup

Soup is always a family favorite and with all the cold weather, soup on the stove top makes everyone feel at home. This soup is a great edition to anyone’s menu because it uses a key ingredient that I know you will love.

Ham is a staple in my home. I love the spiral sliced ham and use it for Sunday brunch, then we have it for leftover. It makes an appearance in omelets, Croque monsieur… or fancy grilled ham and cheese, quiches, a quick dinner with baked potatoes and salad, added to chef salads, etc. It is very versatile and when we are done with all those delicious meals, we take the rest and I make this soup. Nothing goes to waste.

Using the fifteen bean soup mixture that you find at the grocery store, I soak the beans over night. Just add water to cover the beans. The next morning, I drain the beans. Fill the pot with the beans, water to cover the beans about 2 inches above the beans, a bay leaf, ham bone and a ham hock. Bring to a gentle boil and lower the temperature. Simmer for 3 to 4 hours. If the liquid looks a little low, add more water.

Next remove the ham hock, ham bone and bay leaf, add any leftover ham, a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes, and a sautéed onion. Season the soup to your taste. I add a pinch of salt, pepper, cumin, red pepper flakes and a ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper.

This makes a huge pot of soup, plenty for leftovers. Share with some friends, like I recently did. 

It freezes well. Add some biscuits or beer bread and you have a warm and hearty dinner.

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