This is the how my dinner planning process works many evenings. I look at the clock and realize it is already 6:00pm and I haven’t even thought about dinner – again! So I head to the fridge to see what we have. Well, there is that leftover ham that needs to be used before it goes bad. What can I put that with that has lots of vegetables? I know I have those canned beans in the cupboard. Ham and bean soup sounds good. The husband hates soup but I guess he will just have to eat it because now I want some ham and bean soup.
Yup that is what happened this weekend. Now you know the deep thoughts and extensive planning that goes along with my cooking! That extensive planning has brought to you today an easy 30 minute soup that is heavy on delicious vegetables and allergy friendly. Perfect!
- 3 medium carrots (abt 2 Cups)
- 3 celery stalks (abt 1 Cup)
- 1 tsp garlic
- 1 Cup chopped ham*
- 3 15 oz. cans of great northern beans, not drained
- 1 Cup fresh spinach
- 2 tsp seasoned salt
- 2 Tbsp fresh basil (or 1 Tbsp dried)
- ¼ Cup water (optional)
- Chop the carrots and celery. In a medium saucepan, water sauté the vegetables until fork tender. About 10-15 minutes
- Add the ham, great northern beans (liquid and all), spinach, salt and basil. Add a little water is the soup is thicker than you like.
- Heat through and serve.
The vegetables are very flexible on this. Use what you have or what you like best.
When I was learning to cook and in the world of cooking in general, sautéing means using oil. But you do not always have to use oil for cooking, especially with vegetables. To water sauté vegetables, add about 4 Tbsp water to the pan at the beginning and add more as you go along as the water evaporates. You don’t need too much, just to prevent sticking.
Professional cooks will tell you that the water keeps the pan at a lower temperature and changes the flavor of the food. But give water sautéing a try. You will soon learn which you like best and when. It is not a lot of oil but you could be using those extra oil calories on something else like avocado. Yummy!