(Amazing) Ham Soup

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My cooking generally turns out fine, nothing mind-blowing.  Just pretty good for a regular day.  BUT this ham soup turned out AMAZING, there’s no getting around it.   I used the remains of a honey/sugar-glazed ham from Thanksgiving, and it was the best use of leftovers, like, ever.  I advise making as much of this amazing soup as possible because it goes really fast.  I ended up making it twice because it was so good and nobody got enough.  Plus, it isn’t often one has a ham lying around just clamoring to be used.

Ingredients:

2 cups of ham, cut into cubes
1/2 onion, sliced (I used a red one)
2 or 3 stalks celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
Oil (I used grapeseed)
2-3 cups chicken broth (I also used turkey stock made from the Thanksgiving turkey carcass)
1 can stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Baby spinach (optional)

Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a large pot, then saute the onion over medium heat for a couple minutes.  Add the carrot and celery and saute for a few more minutes.  When the time feels right, add the garlic, saute for a minute until the flavor releases, then add the ham.  Saute a couple more minutes.

Add the tomatoes (and their juices), the broth and a cup of water or two.  The ham is super salty and flavorful, so you can actually water it quite a bit — just keep an eye out and taste often.  The first time, I used two cups of reduced sodium chicken broth from Trader Joe’s, a cup of turkey stock, and some water.  It came out quite rich and savory, almost too salty but not quite.  The second time I used just the turkey stock (homemade, very little salt added) and water, and it still came out great and packed with flavor, perhaps a touch healthier-feeling.

Bring to a boil, then simmer for ten or fifteen minutes.  Right before serving, add the beans and heat through.  If you want a little greenery, serve out a bowl and add a handful of baby spinach into the hot soup, letting it wilt.

Serves 4-6.

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