Leftover Ham Soup

Ok, I thought I had posted the last soup recipe for the season!  But we had ham for Easter, and I just had to try to make a ham and bean soup.  So yummy!  We had a Honeybaked Ham, and the bone in their “Mini-Ham” was just right to make a nice soup for six.  The soup has a rich, smoky flavor, with creamy cannellini beans and fresh veggies.  I love cabbage, but if that’s not your thing, just omit it.

This recipe is very easy for homemade soup, but to make it even easier, throw all your veggies in a food processor and pulse til chopped.

INGREDIENTS

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1 hambone from a cooked 3lb. ham (Honeybaked Hams Mini-Ham is just right)

8 cups water

1 ½ tblsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 onion, large, diced

3 garlic cloves, diced

3 carrots, large, diced

1 russet potato, medium, diced

3 celery ribs, diced

1 15 oz. can cannellini beans (or white navy beans), drained and rinsed

¾ tsp fresh thyme leaves

2 bay leaves

1 tsp salt

½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper

1 ½ cup cooked ham, diced

½ to 1 cup chicken broth (optional)

½ small head cabbage, diced (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Place ham bone in a stock pot and cover with water (water will partially cover bone).  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.

Add bay leaves and reduce heat to a simmer.

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Partially cover pot with lid and simmer for 1 hour.

While broth simmers, heat olive oil in a large frying pan.  When oil is hot add onion, garlic, carrots, celery and potato and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and carrots/potatoes begin to soften, about 5 or 6 minutes.

Remove from heat.

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After stock has simmered for an hour, add sautéed vegetables, thyme, and drained cannellini beans.  Raise heat to return to a simmer.  If you would like your soup more “soupy,” you can add up to 1 cup chicken stock.

Add 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and if needed, more to taste.  Reduce heat to keep soup at a slow simmer.

Continue simmering up to an additional hour, adding in ham about 15 minutes before it is done.

Remove ham bone from soup; cut off any meat attached to bone and add to soup.  Add cabbage (if using) and raise heat to medium high, cooking until cabbage is just wilted.

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Taste again and add salt/pepper if needed.  Remove from heat and let rest 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

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