Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bean Soup with Ham and Spinach

This is a such comforting soup to have on a cold winter's day.  The soup looks and tasted creamy, but I did not add any cream.  I used some pureed beans to give the soup that creamy texture.  This way the soup is a little more figure friendly and you don't have to feel guilty if you want another bowl. Pair this up with some crusty bread and you have a completely satisfying meal.

l pound of lean cooked ham
1 medium onion diced
3 carrots diced
3 stalks celery diced
3-4 cloves fresh garlic minced
1Tbs of Italian Seasoning (recipe below)
1-2 bay leaves
8 cups chicken broth/stock
2 (15oz) cans of northern bean drained and rinsed
2-3 handfuls fresh of baby spinach
Garnish: Parmesan cheese


Heat up a heavy bottom soup pot with two Tbs of oil. Once oil is hot, add 1lb of diced up ham. I used a Smithfield precooked pork chop style ham.

1 medium onion diced
3 carrots diced
3 stalks celery diced
3-4 cloves fresh garlic minced.
Saute' until carrots are tender and onions are translucent.

Add one Tbs of Dry Italian Seasoning. If you don't have Italian Season (I didn't) you can make some with these ingredients:

3 Tbs of dried Basil
3 Tbs of dried Oregano
3 Tbs dried Parsley
1 Tbs Onion Powder
1 tsp dried Thyme
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbs red pepper flake

I added ingredients into a small container and mixed all the ingredients together. This mix can be used with any Italian dishes so it's great to have on hand.

Saute' everything with the Italian Seasoning and a bay leaf for a minute.

Add 8 cups chicken broth/stock. I actually used on cartoon of chicken stock that equals 4 cups. I added four additional cups of water and added some granulated chicken bullion to stretch out the liquid.

Drained and rinse two (15oz) cans of northern beans.

If you want a creamier soup without adding the calories, take half the canned beans and put in a blender with some of the soup liquid from the pot. Blend until almost smooth.

Once the soup has had time to cook and all the veggies are tender add the creamed bean mixture and the whole canned beans into the soup.

I put in a few large handfuls fresh of baby spinach at the end just before I turned the soup off.

** I would suggest that you chop up the spinach a little bit. I didn't at first and then I realized that the spinach was still to big. Luckily, I was able to use a pair of kitchen shears and snipped the spinach up a bit before serving.

Also check for seasoning of salt here.

This soup will serve 4-6 people. Serve with crusty bread or garlic bread. You can also garnish with some parmesan cheese. Enjoy.

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