Friday, September 26, 2008

Ham and Bean Soup

Some foods are nostalgic and have the ability to transport you back mentally to the dinner table of your youth. One of my dad's favorite foods was ham and bean soup and every time I make this recipe it reminds me of him and how he'd make my mom blush by going on and on about how great her bean soup was. I've modified the recipe a bit to lessen the fat content, but I think the taste remains the same.

Ham and Bean Soup

1 pound dried great northern beans
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced (use leaves too)
1 bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 cups chicken broth
5 small red potatoes, diced (I left the skins on)
1 lb. diced low-fat ham
salt and pepper to taste

Sort and rinse beans and put into large soup pot. Cover with 8 cups of water and bring to a boil. Boil for two minutes and remove from heat. Cover and let soak for 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans and return them to the soup pot. Cover with 6 cups hot water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes with lid slightly vented.

While beans are cooking, prepare vegetables. Heat oil in skillet and add onion, carrots, celery, bell pepper and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and saute until onion is translucent, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

After the beans have cooked about an hour, add the chicken broth, potatoes, ham and reserved vegetables. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes and vegetables are tender, 25-30 minutes. Adjust seasoning as needed.

1 comment:

Nanan said...

I think it interesting that we cook so many things so differently (cabbage and goose slosh) - yet we cook this soup the same - down to the use of chicken broth with the ham... and the use of great northern beans....