Friday, April 17, 2009

White Bean Soup with Ham

Last weekend, out grocery shopping, I bought a ham at Jewel. Using a $7 off coupon I got it for only $2. Not only was I able to make an Easter dinner for 3 and 5 ham sandwiches, but I also did my very favorite thing with the ham bone and residual ham, made a soup. I usually make either split pea or white bean this time I went with the white bean. I made it pretty garlicky and flavored the broth with thyme and bay leaves. Here's the recipe:

White Bean Soup with Ham

1 pound package white beans
1 ham bone with some ham left on it preferably
7 clove garlic, whole
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 1/2 cups onion, diced
3 bay leaves,
1 teaspoon dried thyme or several sprigs fresh thmye

Either soak beans overnight or cook according to package (this involves boiling beans and letting them sit for about an hour). In large soup pot, bring beans, ham, garlic cloves, and about 6-8 cups water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add remaining ingredients. Simmer for about 3 hours, skimming off fat as necessary. You can test the beans periodically for texture and cook longer if you like a thicker soup or shorter if you like firmer beans. Season with salt and pepper. Voila, delicious soup - couldn't be easier.

A word on salt....
I am kind of a saltoholic. I like my things well seasoned. One does need to add a good amount of salt (but do not overdo it) to a soup to get the flavors out. So while it may seem like you are adding a lot, if you make a homemade soup you will never have as much sodium as a canned soup does. So add the salt, taste frequently, no worries.

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