For Thanksgiving my mother-in-law made a ham, and miracle of miracles, Veda ate it - and liked it. A lot. (Remember that this is the formerly anemic child who refuses any and all meat.) There were plenty of ham leftovers, so we went home with a couple of freezer bag portions of the ham. But what to do with the frozen ham? Soup!
The problem with cooking these days is that it's practically impossible. If Linus isn't climbing the windowsill to chew on the pebbles in the potted plants, Veda is insisting on "helping" me cook - and by "helping", I mean trying to climb the oven door or reaching for a hot stove eye. Actually, both of those things (and more!) are probably happening simultaneously. So my cooking has been simplified, simplified, simplified. This is a recipe that's all about taking lots of shortcuts, but packing in lots of flavor. The kids love, love, love it, and I do, too. Soup is such a great lunch when the weather is cold, and it's one of the rare things that the kids will eat just about every time I offer it. Without further ado, one of our new favorite soups:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced (or find mirepoix in the freezer or produce section at the grocery store to replace
3/4 c celery, diced the onion, celery, and carrots)
3/4 c carrots, diced
1 clove minced garlic
1 1/2 c cooked ham, diced
15 oz. can tomato sauce
2 cans mixed pinto and great northern beans (or one can of each) - do not drain
4 c chicken broth
2 c water
1 Tbsp Better Than Boullion Chicken paste
1. In a stockpot, saute the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic in olive oil until the onion are translucent.
2. Add the ham, and saute until the ham begins to brown (caramelize) a bit.
3. Add the tomato sauce, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pot as you do so (deglazing).
4. Add the rest of the ingredients (beans through Better Than Boullion), stir, and simmer for 30-45 minutes.
When we run out of ham leftovers in the freezer, I'll probably try making this with Field Roast "sausages". Mmmm.