Sunday, January 19, 2014

Love Soups!

I love soups!  Especially in the winter!  I think most everybody does, don't you?  Started these yesterday, using a ham bone that we had a couple of weeks ago.  I always freeze the bone, with some meat left on it, until I am ready to use it.  I also freeze the gravy I make from the ham, so that I can add that to my soup when I am ready.   I use pineapple slices and a mustard/brown sugar glaze on the ham when I cook it for dinner, so the gravy has a sweet taste.  We all like it that way.  

Yesterday, I simmered the bone in water and chicken broth, along with 3 carrots, 2 celery stalks, two onions, and a whole garlic bulb, unpeeled.  I simmer that for two to three hours, drain, and use the broth, discard the vegetables.   This time, I made a lot of broth, because I wanted to make pea soup, and bean soup.  For the bean soup, I use the 15 bean dry mix, minus the flavor packet.  Don't like that!  It'll have plenty of flavor in it, believe me!    Naturally, I have soaked the beans, as per the bag instructions, so split the broth into two pans, added the beans to one, and the split peas to the other, and let them simmer for awhile til they are tender.  While the broth was simmering, I cut up about five carrots, smallish pieces, three small onions, and six stalks of celery, and cut up all the meat from the bone, or leftover ham.  I add these along with the beans, or peas, and let the whole lot simmer until the beans are tender.   I had also added two bay leaves to the bean soup.    I hope this isn't confusing.  I'll write the recipe out below.  

These will be our supper tonite, along with, for the guys, blt sandwiches.  For me, it'll be a rice cake with a little peanut butter on it.   We went out for lunch today,  watched football, and this soup supper will be a perfect ending for the day!  The guys love soup, too!  

So, the recipe.  I know this is very much like most bean soup recipes, but I love the added sweetness from the pineapple, and brown sugar that I used when baking the ham,initially.   The flavor is just fabulous!!!  

For the broth, one ham bone
8 cups water
2 cans low sodium chicken broth
1 whole garlic bulb, unpeeled, slice off bottom of bulb
2 med. onions, ends cut off, but unpeeled
2 or 3 carrots
2 or 3 stalks celery

For the bean soup
2/3 of the broth 
2 or 3 carrots, chopped 
1 large onion, chopped 
2 or 3 stalks celery, chopped 
1 bag 15 bean mix, soaked in water and drained 
1/2 to 1 cup ham, chopped
Leftover gravy, if you have it
Salt and pepper to taste
Simmer all ingredients, except ham and gravy, for two hours on stovetop, or 6 to 8 hours in a crockpot, on low, then add ham and gravy and serve

For the pea soup
1/3 stock
8 oz. bag split peas
2 small carrot, or 1 large, chopped 
1 small onion, chopped 
2 stalks celery, chopped
Add chicken broth as needed, to desired thickness
1/2 cup ham, chopped.        Salt and pepper to taste
Simmer all ingredients for an hour or so, or until thickened, adding chicken broth, if needed for desired thickness.    Add ham and serve.  

Okay!  I know this is kind of long, but I really want you to try these soups.  The bean soup, especially, cause it is the most delicious bean soup I have ever had!   I don't claim to be any super cook, or anything, I just get excited when I cook something that is sooooo good, I want to share it.  Let me know, if you try it, or if I missed something in the recipe!   I hope you try it!