Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Easy Cannellini Bean and Ham Soup

I don't know about where you live but around these parts walking my dog in the morning requires a sweatshirt, the A/C isn't kicking on during the day anymore, and the nights require extra close snuggling in bed.  This also means it's the time of year when NORMAL people resume eating soup (though, we already established that I personally eat it year round).  Rejoice!

My mother-in-law, Mary Lynn, gave me a ham bone from when she baked a ham knowing that I could turn it into something magically delicious.  I could have done something tried and true with it but you know me, I'm always up for trying a new recipe.  After some searching, I decided on this recipe.

What resulted was a soup that wasn't heavy yet was still filling and nutritious.  I added carrots.  I find they give soups an extra special (but not overwhelming) sweetness to them.  This soup was perfect for using the last of Summer's veggies while warming the bones from the chill of the onset of Fall.

Two Years Ago: Lasagna - I grew up on my mom's recipe and I guess this is how I came to like cottage cheese more than traditional ricotta in my lasagna.

Easy Cannellini Bean and Ham Soup

  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2.5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 14.5oz. can stewed tomatoes, coarsely cut
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (omit if using ham bone)
  • 2 (19 oz). cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2-lb piece baked ham (sliced 3/4 inch thick), cut into 1/2-inch cubes (optional: ham bone)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 10 oz spinach (roughly torn)
  1. In a large pot, sauté the chopped garlic and onion in 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil over moderately high heat until the onions turn golden (approx. 3-5 minutes).  Add the carrots and cook until soft (about 5-7 minutes).
  2. Add the can of cut stewed tomatoes and juice to pot and stir.  If you are using a ham bone, add it now with enough water to cover.  When the liquid starts to simmer, add the beans, ham and black pepper. If not using a ham bone or you need more liquid, add the chicken broth now, stir and bring to a boil.  When the broth starts to boil, reduce the heat until it settles at a simmer.
  3. When the soup is simmering, pile the spinach on top of the pot to steam the spinach. As the spinach starts to wilt, stir it into the soup and turn off the heat. Serve immediately.

Source: Modified from and as seen on Loves to Eat; Originally from Gourmet.

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