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