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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Leftover Ham Crockpot Soup

You'll need:
  • a ham bone and any other leftover ham you want to use (from Thanksgiving probably and in the freezer)
  • a can of Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (or to taste)
  • about 4 carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1/3 c Israeli couscous (or barley or other very small pasta like orzo)
  • 2 T flour
Earlier today I put the ham bone and beans in the crock pot, added the spices and enough water to cover.  Since I didn't have any carrots in the house at that point, I didn't add them then, but you could if you were more organized than me.  (On the other hand I kinda prefer to add the carrots in later so they don't get too mushy and so they still taste like carrots.) I turned the crock pot on High and left it for several hours, until the ham was coming off the bone.  Then I pulled all the bones and meat out of the crockpot using a slotted spoon and left it on a plate to cool, turning the crockpot to Low (since all that was left in there at this point was broth and beans).  There was quite a bit of meat since I'd used a large bone plus another hunk of meat.  After it was cool, I chopped up the ham that was good and threw away the bones and fatty bits, adding the ham back to the pot.  I turned the crock pot back up to High and added the couscous (I actually used this blend from Trader Joe's but you can probably use any small grain or pasta that you have around -- you just want to be careful not to overcook it so add last if you are using something kinda soft.) I also added the carrots at this point after steaming them for about 8 minutes.  The last step is to thicken the soup with a flour and water paste -- put about 2 T of flour in a small bowl and add enough cold water to make a thick paste, stirring with a fork to remove lumps.  Pour this mixture into the very hot soup and let it cook for another 15-20 minutes in the crock pot.  It should thicken nicely. 

We enjoyed our soup with cheese biscuits.  Yum!  I expect it will taste even better for lunch tomorrow.