Tuesday, April 12, 2011

White Bean and Ham Soup

As I was scrolling through the backlog of recipes I have that are waiting to be posted here, I came across this one. It surprised me that I had yet to share it considering the fact that I have made it several times over the past few months and so I knew it was time to pull it off the shelf.

I keep thinking that soup weather is fading and then I look out the window and realize that Spring still has no idea what it is doing yet.  Case in point, we are currently awaiting a thunderstorm and our expected high temp for the day was reached at around 9 AM.  We aren't in freezing temperatures by any stretch of the imagination, but after a dreary rainy day having a cup of this hot soup with beans that just melt in your mouth will be sure to cheer just about anyone up. 

A lot of soups take hours of simmering to reach the right flavor and consistency, the original version of this recipe was no exception.  Since I'm not always on top of things (in fact I'm not even often on top of things) I adapted this recipe to be made in a much shorter time frame.  Out went the ham bone, dried beans, and the long and low cooking time and in came a few cans of White Beans, a Ham Steak and a quart of Chicken (or Veggie) stock.  Rather than fresh warm bread (see above - not on top of things) I whipped up a quick batch of biscuits to serve with the soup.  I mention the biscuits only as a suggestion since the recipe I selected was passable but not worth repeating.  And here is the first clap of thunder, it seems the weatherman was correct after all.  Anyone else have soup on the forecast for tonight?

White Bean and Ham Soup
2 cans of white beans - either Great Northern or canelli
4 cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth
1 diced ham steak
1 cup carrots chopped
1 cup celery chopped
1 cup onion chopped
3/4 teaspoon thyme
Dash of hot sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh parsley finely chopped
Salt and pepper

In a large stock pot, saute the diced ham steak in a small portion of olive oil, just until it starts to get a little color.  Add the carrots, celery and onions and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until they are soft, about 5-10 minutes. Add stock, beans and thyme and simmer until the beans are soft and the flavors have come together at least half and hour (or up to 2).  Season with salt and pepper and add vinegar and fresh parsley. If you'd like have a slightly thicker soup, mash up some of the beans a bit.

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