I did the traditional ham with a brown sugar and pineapple glaze for Easter, leaving me with a lot of leftover ham. After eating ham and cheese sandwiches for a few days we still have plenty left and I bought the smallest one I could find in the store. I finished off with one last recipe to use some of it up and the rest is off to the freezer for a later time when we feel up to ham again.
I’ve never made a white bean soup before but noticed I had a bookmarked recipe for one that used ham as one of the ingredients (talk about noticing the signs!). The original White Bean and Ham Soup recipe is from Grace Parisi of Food and Wine . Yes, I know you’re probably sighing now and wondering what I changed.
Can you see the face in the eggs and black pepper? I had to share because I can’t help but smiling every time I see this picture. I was working on Italian rice balls while making the soup (using up leftover rice, YAY) and the face appeared in the mix.
This soup is very versatile and you can switch out the herbs for any flavor combo you like and if you don’t happen to have any cannellini beans on hand, use Great Northern or another type of white bean. You could leave out the meat and have a vegetarian soup and add in mushrooms for those who want to skip the meat.
I added cayenne pepper because I felt it needed a little kick and on my, it really did up the entire flavor profile of the soup and bring a nice balance to it that it was missing. Not enough to be overly spicy, just enough that you felt the slight burn on the last part of the bite. It added a nice surprise to it.
We both liked this soup and I will say it’s a very filling one. It’s also very low-fat and plenty of wonderful good stuff in it. It is getting a little warm out for heavier warm soups but it was great anyway and I’m glad to give it a try, plus it helped me use up some of the leftover ham without feeling like I’m eating regular ham all over again. The only thing I felt it was missing was a nice thick crusty bread to dip into it for sopping up the goodness. So if you make it, don’t forget to add a nice bread to pair with it as you enjoy this soul warming, White Bean and Ham Soup.
White Bean and Ham Soup
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 large white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium-size carrot, shredded
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. tarragon
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/8 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
2 15-oz. cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups veggie stock (or chicken)
3/4 lb. ham, cut into 1/2″ pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
Add the olive to a large pot and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, carrots, bay leaves, tarragon and dried basil and cook until onions are soft, about 3 minutes. Add the veggie stock, beans and cayenne pepper and bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes.
Remove pot from stove and remove bay leaves. Transfer soup to a food processor or blender and process until smooth (work in batches is you need to). Return the soup back to the pot and stir in the cut up ham. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
Soup can be made ahead and reheated when needed.
Makes 4 servings.
More Ways to Use Leftover Ham: