Saturday, March 29, 2008

If you Love me...

I was just about to toss our Easter ham dinner remains out to the little raccoon and possum that come to visit me when he came into the kitchen and told me that if I loved him I would use it to make ham and bean soup instead. So what could I say? I love the raccoon and possum more? No... So I tossed the ham bone into the freezer (and the ham scraps out to the raccoon and possum) and began searching for the best ham and bean recipe I could find - Ironically, this recipe I tried tonight is called, "The Best Ham and Bean Soup" - No really... But I settled on it not because it professed to be the best, but because it was the first recipe I found that didn't mention sorting through a bag of dry beans and soaking them overnight.

Earlier this week I decided I would not be in the kitchen making soup on Saturday since for most of the week it was close to 80 degrees and I had the air conditioner cranking in the house - Hardly soup weather. But as if by special request, it rained all night and most of the day and never reached 50 degrees - Perfect soup weather! Lucky him...  

And, just to dispel any doubts of my love I baked a loaf of my No Knead Bread to go with it too - Fantastic! 

And yes, it was the Best ham and bean soup - Here, try it yourself:

Best Ham and Bean Soup Ingredients

3/4 pound fully cooked ham cubed1 cup peeled diced potatoes
1 medium onion chopped3/4 cup diced carrots
2 cloves garlic minced3/4 cup diced celery
2 Tablespoons Butter1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cans (16 ounces) great northern beans, rinsed and; drained1/2 cup frozen peas
3 cups chicken broth2 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 cups water

Instructions for Best Ham and Bean Soup

Note: I prepared this soup in a 6 quart dutch oven because I added the large ham bone
In a 3 quart saucepan, saute ham, onion and garlic in butter until onion is tender.
Add the next seven ingredients; cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Add peas and cook for 5 minutes. Add parsley and serve.

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