Thursday, April 25, 2013

Black Bean and Ham Soup



Black Bean and Ham Soup


This is one of the simplest soups to make and a great way to use up leftover ham. The flavor is mild and savory and you can add almost anything to the top as a garnish. Dinner is ready in 35 minutes and a simple salad and good bread make it complete.

Black Bean and Ham Soup
Printable Recipe
Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 35 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons cooking oil
1 cup green pepper - diced small
1 small yellow onion - diced small
1 clove garlic - minced
2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, drained
4 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups leftover ham diced small
sour cream
chopped cilantro

Directions:

1. Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat and add oil. Saute green pepper and onion with garlic until softened, about 5 minutes.
2. Add stock, beans, bay leaf, cumin, oregano and ham. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
3. Remove bay leaf and serve topped with sour cream and fresh cilantro.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cauliflower and Watercress Soup

Cauliflower and Watercress Soup
Cauliflower and Watercress Soup

When I first had to change my diet to be more aware of the carbohydrates I was eating (I'm hypoglycemic) I struggled to find foods I really liked that weren't also full of fat and cholesterol. One quick Google search for low fat and low carb will lead you to very few real solutions; it's difficult to have both at once.

This soup was a savior. It's low in carbohydrate, calories AND fat. In fact, the fat in this is so low it barely registers. The best thing is, there's no way you'll miss it. I had already made Cauliflower Leek Soup but I was unwilling to add in half and half and skim milk would be pointless and just extra calories.

The real star to this is the cauliflower. Once cooked and pureed, it's got a velvety smooth texture that tricks your taste buds into believing there's a lot of fat there. You can easily switch out the watercress for another green like spinach and feel free to add in whatever herbs you like. This is the bare-bones recipe and I like it just fine this way.

Cauliflower and Watercress Soup
Printable Recipe
Hands-On Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

1 large head cauliflower (about 1 1/2 pounds) broken into small pieces

1 bunch watercress, large stems removed
4 cups fat free vegetable stock
Kosher salt and white pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Combine stock, cauliflower and watercress in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Lid well and cook until veggies are tender, about 20 minutes.
2. Puree in batches until smooth and return to pot or use a stick blender directly in the cooking pot. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir well, check for seasoning and serve.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Leftover Ham and Potato Soup


Leftovers are not usually something I have a lot of here. All these kids can really decimate a meal and leave nothing behind, but for Easter, the day they gets a lot of candy early in the day, I always have leftovers.

This year we had a lot of ham and mashed potatoes left behind so I tossed them together for a warm and tasty soup. If you didn't have ham, use a little bacon for flavor as the mashed potatoes really can stand on their own here.

Leftover Ham and Potato Soup
Printable Recipe
Serves 6
Hands On Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 35 minutes


Ingredients:

1 small onion - chopped small
1 clove garlic - minced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced leftover ham
1 quart chicken stock or broth
4 cups leftover mashed potatoes
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed thyme (optional)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Directions:

1. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed 4 quart soup pot.
2. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently - until translucent.
3. Add ham and cook until heated through.
4. Pour in stock and bring to a boil. Reduce immediately to a simmer and stir in potatoes and thyme.
5. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure potatoes are smooth.
6. Stir in cheese and serve.