Monday, January 2, 2012

Winter Soup Gladness: Beans, Orzo, Vegies, Mushroom, Hambone,...

It's sorta like a cuppa human kindness, except it's a bowla soup gladness (see what I did there?).

We had a wonderful glazed ham from Trader Joe's, for Christmas dinner, and this left us a week later with a beautiful big ham bone. Given my Southern roots, I new how nicely that would flavor a pot of beans or soup! This had wonderful flavor, and would feed a crowd. This is very nutritious, has great flavor in the broth, and I especially love the texture that the orzo gives it.

  • 1 lb bag of mixed beans and lentils, pre-soaked
  • 6 cups broth - or - 2 T chicken "better than bouillon" and 6 cups water
  • hambone from a cooked ham
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cups carrots, in big chunks
  • 2 cups celery diced
  • fresh basil, large handful, chopped fine (or 1 t dry basil)
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped fine (or 2 t crushed or powdered garlic)
  • 1 package dried wild mushrooms, rinsed
  • 1 jar of marinara sauce (I might use 2 jars next time)
  • 1 lb orzo
  • optional: diced ham
  1. To pre-soak beans, either soak them over night, or bring them to a boil in a few cups water, simmer for 2 minutes, drain, and rinse.
  2. Put the beans in a big soup pot with the broth and the hambone.
  3. Heat the oil in a big frying pan to high heat and stir fry the vegies in batches (onion, carrots, celery) until soft; add to the soup pot.
  4. Add the herbs, garlic, mushrooms, and marinara to the soup pot.
  5. Simmer for about an hour, until the beans are tender.
  6. Add the orzo and cook 10 minutes longer. (Ensure there is enough liquid to cook the orzo, and when it is done, add water if needed to make the soup have a broth.)
  7. Meanwhile, heat the ham in the frying pan.
  8. To serve, ladel soup into bowl and add ham to taste. Serve with warm bread or onion bagels.
  9. Note: I didn't add salt or pepper, but season to taste at the table.
Bon Soup-a- teet!!!

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