Divine Ham and Bean Soup
I’m not really a chef, but I pretend to be. I guess you could also title this post “Getting to Know the Person Who Writes This Blog That You’re Reading Right Now”, but that doesn’t really flow, so I’ll keep it the way it is.
Sometimes I think that it would be fun to share interesting things about myself. I don’t know if anyone else will find them interesting. Maybe my mom and dad will. I hope they’re reading this. Anyhoo, here are some things I thought you might get a kick out of knowing. If you don’t, skip to the bottom. There’s a recipe there for you.
I like to think of myself as a professional blogger. Is that a job?
I started blogging about food after I saw the movie “Julie and Julia” Anyone else? No? Just me? I’m OK with that.
I use the stem of the broccoli too (peeled to remove the tough skin). No wasting food in this house.
I like to drink “chef’s juice” while I cook dinner.
I love vegetables (sorry younger self).
I like things now that I used to hate: mushrooms (cooked only, preferably), olives, wine, soda (not often drunk, but enjoyed when it is).
I use a computer for my work, and I’m pretty good at it (sorry high school self – when you thought you weren’t going to need the internet or to know how to make spreadsheets in Excel, you were wrong).
Salty over sweet any day of the week. A bite of dessert can satisfy, but I can down a bag of Salt and Vinegar chips in a sitting. Easy.
In my opinion, the best smell in the world is garlic, right after it hits the pan.
I love cheese. I don’t care if it’s bad for me. This is one food where I rarely read the label (except to see things like what kind it is, where it’s made and how much it costs).
I love basil. It’s the thing that grows best in my apartment garden. That’s not why I love it. I just do.
I hate it when my food gets cold. It’s so sad.
I’m not the best baker, because the way I cook is more of an art than a science. I don’t at all mean that baking is not an art, friends. I just mean that I use a little bit of this, and a dash of that, I change this for that and that for this. And when I’m done, it’s different than it was gonna be originally. Sometimes this makes baking not turn out for me. For example, I’ve had banana breads that have baked for hours and were still liquid in the middle (you can’t do a straight substitution for sugar with honey, lesson learned). The following was not a disaster in the cooking sense. It was almost a disaster because, well, read and see… (Again, if you’re bored, feel free to skip to the recipe at the waaaay bottom of this post.)
The cupcake saga. I made some delicious cupcakes. I used a recipe from Joy the Baker (she’s pretty much my blogger idol). I did a slightly different version of this recipe (by substituting blackberry jam for the cherries). Try it. You will not be sorry.
The following recipe has nothing to do with the above. Just a random post. But a little bit of background for it: Husband loves ham. At the grocery store once he asked if I could make a ham and bean soup. There’s nothing that I love more than cooking for him (really!), so of course I had to try. Here’s what I came up with.
|Divine Ham and Bean Soup||
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 parsnip, diced
- 1 C ham, diced (small cubes)
- 1 potato, diced (small cubes)
- 1/4 C onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, diced
- 6 C water (give or take)
- 1/2 to 1 C chicken stock
- 1 C pan drippings from chicken (or could use gravy, or just more stock)
- 1/2 lb (about 1 – 2 C) canelini (or other favorite) beans
- salt (only if necessary – ham is salty) and pepper
- 1/8 t ginger
- 1/4 t red pepper flakes (or more, if you like it spicier)
- Combine beans and water in soup pot. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat off. Cover. Leave 5 hours. [or put all ingredients except potatoes in Crock Pot, cook on high until beans are tender (6-10 hours). Add potatoes in the last hour. (I didn’t do mine this way, so I don’t know for sure on the time. Let me know if you do!)]
- Add water, pan drippings and stock to soup pot. Bring to a boil.
- In a small pan, sauté onion, carrot, parsnip; 3 minutes; add garlic. When water/stock boils, add potatoes. When veggies are tender, add them to the soup. Add ham.
- Reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are cooked and beans are tender.
- Great served with Gruyère and Apple Toasts.
Our rating: **** and a half!
It might serve more than 2, I didn’t write it down and I can’t remember. 🙂