Vegetable Ham and Bean Soup

INGREDIENTS:
1 can of Cannellinis (or White Beans)
1 Qt Chicken Broth
3 Tbs Butter
1 cup Onion, chopped
1 cup Carrots, chopped
1 cup Celery, chopped
1 large potato or 6-7 fingerlings, sliced/diced
1 bay leaf
1 Tbs Fenugreek
1/2 tsp dry mustard
Hambone, especially Honeybaked spiral-sliced leftover


Let's start the pot with that famous trio

onion, celery, carrot - about a cup of each.

  These need to saute over medium heat in

2-3 Tbs butter

  just 5-6 minutes to sweeten a little and start to soften. Add

1 quart of chicken broth and the drained can of cannellini beans.

You can use white beans if you like, but I prefer cannellinis for their firmer texture and slightly larger size. Now add the hambone. If there's still ham hanging on to that hambone that won't really slice into manageable pieces, just leave it. As it simmers in the soup it will get so tender you can use a fork at the end to scrape and coax loose some pieces for the soup.



Bring this to a simmer while you prepare some potato to add. I used small red fingerlings, about a cupful that I washed and left unpeeled then sliced into 1/4" rounds. Any potato is fine, just keep the pieces fairly small so they'll cook promptly with the other vegetables. 



To season the soup add one bay leaf, a pinch of mustard, and 5-6 good shakes of black pepper. I ground some fenugreek seed, maybe a tbs or so, because I like the flavor that is milder than cumin, but somewhat similar, and a little sweet. It's used as one of flavoring agents in fake maple syrup, so maybe that's the element that makes it seem like a good fit for hammy soup. Try fenugreek seed and grind it yourself in a small coffee grinder (well washed!). The flavor is always better if you can grind fresh.

Don't worry if that hambone is not completely immersed in the soup. Let it simmer for half an hour, maybe flip the bone over halfway through, and give it a taste. If the vegetables are cooked and the flavor is good, serve this up with some cornbread and eat up!  Four servings.

Jan Burke. http://dailydishinblog.blogspot.com/