Sunday, December 19, 2010

Beans & Greens Soup with Ham: A Little Bowl of Comfort for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

For those of you who think it is always sunny in paradise (OK, it mostly is), it is pouring down rain today and cool enough for sweats, socks and a long-sleeved tee-shirt. Obviously much milder than the weather in many other places, but still perfect for a bowl of hot, comforting, hearty soup, like this Beans & Greens Soup with Ham.

I had a free half ham from a grocery store coupon program, that I promptly chopped up into pieces to freeze for soup, and saved the big meaty bone to add to stock. I wanted a very bean filled soup so I used lots of dried cannellini beans. I added garlic, rosemary, thyme, bay and homemade chicken stock for extra flavor. For the veggies, the usual suspects of onion, carrot and celery, plus some chopped kale for extra nutrients. It smelled incredible cooking and tasted great, even better the next day, especially with a little grated Parmesan on top.

Beans & Greens Soup with Ham
by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Serves 8 or 10)

2 cup dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
1 bay leaf
1 ham bone with meat, or 2 ham shanks
8 cups chicken stock (or water)
1 - 1 1/2 cups chopped ham
1 bunch kale, stems discarded and leaves chopped or torn roughly
salt and pepper to taste
freshly grated Parmesan to serve

Soak the beans overnight or put the beans in a large pan and cover with cold water and bring to a boil and cook rapidly for 2 minutes; remove from heat, cover and let sit for 2 hours.

Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion, carrots and celery and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, rosemary, thyme, and bay leaf, and continue cooking for another 5 minutes until vegetables soften.

Add the drained beans and ham bone to the vegetables, cover with the stock and leave to simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, or until beans start to become tender. Remove the ham bone, let cool and cut off any usable meat, discarding the fat. Meanwhile, add the chopped chopped ham and kale, pushing the kale down beneath the surface of the soup. Simmer everything together for another 30-40 minutes until the beans and kale are both tender. Salt and pepper to taste, and serve with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese on top.

Notes/Results: Full of flavor and perfect comfort food. Rosemary and thyme are perfect with the beans, kale and ham. You could of course use a couple of cans of beans instead of dry to save time, but there is something about having this bubbling away low and slow for a couple of hours that is cozy on a cool, gray day. I would make this again.

Let's take a look into the Souper Sunday kitchen and see who is here.

girlichef is here with a soul-filling Pork Noodle Soup with Bean Sprouts and Spinach adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe and inspired by a movie. She says, "Ramen Girl is one of our two featured flicks this month over at Food 'n Flix (the other being Waitress) this month. I love The Ramen's a fun, foodie chick-flick that I won't ruin by giving any more away. I was totally inspired to make a bowl of noodle soup...with broth, noodles, veggies, and meat that would transport me to another level. Check it out..."

Megha from Live to eat!!! has a warming, spicy soup to share, this Rajma (Kidney Beans) Water Rasam. Megha says, "It's winter and all you want is a nice hot bowl of soup or rasam.Why not make some hot and spicy rasam with the left over rajma water. It has a nice thick consistency; good enough to use it for soups and rasam. Why not make some hot rasam for this winter!The Indian spices and the tangy tamarind taste can really help your senses open out...."

I am happy to welcome a new face to Souper Sundays this week, Ashleigh from Pregnant Again, is here joining us from snowy Ontario, Canada and here with a filling Potato and Pea Soup. Ashleigh says, "Its minus 19 where I live today and the snow is deep. This soup is cheap, healthy and hot." It looks delicious Ashleigh, thanks for joining in!

Tigerfish from Teczcape-An Escape to Food has a very unique dessert soup to share, Boiled Glutinous Rice Dumplings in Fermented Glutinous Rice Wine - 酒酿圆子. She says, "As this dessert is typically serve warm and due to the presence of "wine" from sweet ferment rice; it is indeed a timely dessert soup for winter. The first time I tried this dessert was many years ago in Singapore."

Pam from Sidewalk Shoes makes the most of her weekly rotisserie chicken by using it in lots of dishes and making soup out of the bones, like her Aunt Sissy's Chicken Soup. Pam says, "When my children were smaller, we would go visit my Aunt Sissy and she would make us a chicken soup with cabbage in it. We loved it. It has become one of my favorite chicken soups to make. If you haven’t tried cabbage in your chicken soup, give it a try!"

Zibi from Fresh Slowcooking has a restorative Hearty Chicken Soup with Leeks and Mushrooms. She says, "Fighting another cold, I didn't have the energy to dice and brown chicken breasts, so I slow cooked the whole chicken with the vegetables. I shredded the chicken into bite-sized pieces after everything cooked and added it back to the soup. After enjoying a couple of bowlfuls, I felt revitalized. This chicken soup containing chunks of chicken, healthy vegetables and a rich chicken broth did the trick :)"

It's nice to have Grazinana from Erbe in Cucina back with us this week with mini-sammies, these Sage and Mint Bruschetta. She says, "I use often the sage and mint combo during autumn, because they look green and healthy even in these months.This bruschetta was inspired by the tapenade and improvised with ingredients I had in my fridge. It has a rich aroma and a refreshing taste, and it's an excellent appetizer for a hot autumn lunch."

There you have it--warming soups and little sandwich treats. Thanks to everyone who joined in this week and welcome to Ashleigh. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you want to share, just click on the Super Sundays logo on my sidebar for all of the details.

Have a great week before Christmas!


  1. Short but sweet...I like it! :) I love the powerhouse combo of beans and greens...enough to warm me to the bone, for sure. Even though it is 17° right now. Ahhh...what I wouldn't give for long sleeved t-shirts and rain ;-P Everything looks delicious.

  2. great round-up! I have a cold and craving for soups in these days, so thank you for the recipes

  3. I think the cold is all relative...all about what you're used to (or not). Love the sound of this soup! I could definitely use a huge bowl to warm ME up! Lovely round-up! I feel cozy just looking at it.

  4. I slow cooked a hame this weekend too, your soup would be a perfect way to use some of the leftovers. Thanks for the round up :)

  5. Nice homey comfort soup to warm me up through from main-course to dessert :)

  6. Your soup looks super comforting Deb! And super delicious. I wouldn't mind snuggling up to a big bowl! The round-up is wonderful - as always - the dessert soup looks very interesting.

  7. When I was younger, I was somewhere (a get together of some sort) and I will never forget the horror on the hostess face when I was explaining to people that it was simply ham bone soup. Apparently, that was the only thing I knew about the soup creation. Now-a-days 'ham bone' soup sounds delicious!


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