From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...When our fall rains begin, the sun moves behind banks of clouds and hibernates until prevailing spring winds blow away its cover. While it rarely gets truly cold here, the pervasive Pacific damp still chills the bones, and whets appetites that now need more substantial fare to satisfy them. Slow cookers come off the shelves, and soups and stews fill gaps left by the abandoned grills and salads of summer. The tempo of the kitchen and the aromas emanating from it change with the season. I have bread baking in my oven as we speak and I've just finished the first of my winter soups. You can't imagine how good my kitchen smells right now. I made an almost effortless bean soup that I found in Family Circle magazine. I've just had my first taste of it and I like it well enough to share with you. My version is not as thick as some. If you prefer a thicker soup, mash a portion of the beans until it reaches the consistency you like. While the beans for this soup soak overnight, the soup can be made in 15 minutes and the slow cooker does the rest of the work. This soup ages wonderfully well and, like almost all soups and stews, its flavor improves with time. If you are looking for a bean soup, I hope you'll give this one a try. Here's the recipe.
Ham and White Bean Soup - Slow Cooker...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Family Circle magazine
1 pound dry cannellini beans
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can (14 1/2 ounces)stewed tomatoes
1-1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
8 ounces low-sodium ham, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Crusty bread (optional)
Fresh parsley (optional)
1) Place beans in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to boiling, cover and turn off heat. Allow to soak overnight.
2) Coat slow cooker bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Drain beans and add to bowl. Add 4 cups water, onion, carrots, garlic, tomatoes, Italian seasoning and ham. Stir to combine, breaking up tomatoes with a wooden spoon.
3) Cover and cook on HIGH for 6 hours.
4) Season with salt and pepper; mash beans slightly to thicken soup. Serve with crusty bread and garnish with parsley, if desired. Yield: 6 servings.
One Year Ago Today: Cranberry Almond Coffee Cake
Two Years Ago Today: Baked Stuffed Tomatoes
Three Years Ago Today: Berry Patch Cake