I made our "Easter Dinner" last weekend when we had our families over to do our baby's gender reveal. Part of that meal included a nearly ten pound spiral sliced ham and I knew that ham bone was going to be turned into something special.
If you've been following my blog for awhile, you know that I love making soup. I love finding ways to use up the bones and carcass of that leftover, picked over Easter or Christmas ham, Thanksgiving turkey, or what have you. They make THE BEST start to the most flavorful soups you have ever eaten so don't throw away those leftover bones!
This particular soup is filled to the brim with healthy vegetables like kale, cabbage, and carrots. I love the sweet flavor that the cabbage and carrots lend to the soup which is complemented by the savory saltiness of the ham. Last but not least, the kale gives it a little bit of a peppery flavor and a super punch of Vitamins K, A, and Calcium. No wonder it's celebrated as a super vegetable! The original recipe called for bacon but I left it out because I didn't have any at home and am trying to avoid eating too much cured meats during my pregnancy. You can add it back in if you want to but I can honestly say that nobody missed it. I did add a can of tomatoes for color and flavor, instead.
My extended family and I were more than pleased with this soup. It was the perfect start to our Easter Meal Part II (courtesy of my Mother-in-Law). I'll definitely be making it again!
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Ham Bone, Greens, and Bean Soup
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 celery stalks, trimmed and sliced
- 1 large onion, peeled and diced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 8 cups of water (may need more)
- 1 leftover ham bone with some meat still attached
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded (about 8 cups)
- 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves torn or chopped into bite-sized pieces
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, and onion. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a 1 minute longer.
- Add 8 cups of water and the ham bone with meat still attached. If needed, add more water to cover the ham bone completely. Add bay leaf and Italian seasoning. Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Add the beans and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the cabbage and diced tomatoes, simmer for 30 minutes more. Finally add the kale and simmer until the kale is soft but still vibrantly green, about 15 minutes.
- Remove the ham bone from the soup. Pick off the meat. Shred or chop the larger any larger pieces then add all meat pieces back into the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste.