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Monday, April 5, 2010

Leftover Ham and White Bean Soup

We always buy WAY too much meat at the holidays and I struggle to find recipes to reinvent my leftover ingredients so we don't waste food.  I found this recipe on my neighbor's blog and modified it just a bit.  We had this at Christmas (I made it and simmered without the spinach in the crock pot all day) but the GREAT part about this recipe is it literally takes 30 mins to make!  I got home from the store with the kids at 5 pm today, put all my groceries away and then made this soup and was eating a bowl by 6 pm!  I added extra stewed tomatoes, doubled the chicken broth, and added an extra can of beans - so we would have a big batch of soup.  I'm planning to freeze the remainder in individual portions.  This is absolutely delicious.  My neigbor omitted the tomato and used carrots instead. The link above will take you to her version.

Ingredients:

4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, diced
2.5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 14.5oz. can stewed tomatoes, coarsely cut
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth ( I added until the soup was the desired consistency)
3 15 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 (I used quite a bit of leftover ham from Easter dinner)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
10 oz spinach (roughly torn)
 
Directions:
  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).
  2. Add the  cut stewed tomatoes and juice to pot and stir.
  3. When the juice starts to simmer, add the beans, ham and black pepper.
  4. Add the chicken broth, stir and bring to a boil.
  5. When the broth starts to boil, reduce the heat until it settles at a simmer.
  6. 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.
  7. Serve immediately.