I love to cook, I love my kitchen, I love using lots of spices, I love to make hearty meals, and I love to make soup. This winter I've been making alot of soups for a few reasons. They are easy to make with leftover roasts, turkey, ham etc. They can cook on the stove all day on low without thinking about them or having to babysit the stove. They can be stored in Mason jars for a variety so you are not eating the same soup for a week. They are relatively low cost in making. But most importantly my kids LOVE soup!
I always start with a recipe, or rather I should say I look up 2 or 3 that catch my interest with ingredients I have, then I usually take the best points from each of these recipes and then put my own twist on it - like adding a bay leaf or blending part of the soup with my hand mixer to make it appear creamy without adding milk, things like that.
So far this winter I have made Butternut Squash soup, Roasted Sweet Potato, Cream of Broccoli, Beef Barley, and just today I made the most amazing Ham and Bean soup.
Now, Lorena, there is no way it could be the Most Amazing soup if you don't share how you did it, and what made it unique now would it!
It started out the night before, as a huge bone-in ham. I threw a large handful of whole cloves into the bottom of my crock-pot and put the ham on top, filled with water, set to low, and went to work! Yup, the house smelled GREAT when I got home. Then I poured about a 1/4 cup of real Maple Syrup over the top of the now exposed bone and let it cook for about another 45 minutes now on high.
The next part is fun - eat the ham for dinner! Delic-Ious! (as my daughter would say)
Save all the liquid, strain the cloves out. Chop up about a cup of the ham, maybe more, and add a full package of bean soup mix (soaked over night and boiled for about an hour). I chopped about 6 carrots and 5 stalks of celery. Normally I would add a small onion, but beans alone do a number on my husbands 'gas' situation not to enhance that with added fuel of an onion. Toss in a bay leaf and let the crock-pot go for another day on low.
So simple, and man so delicious!
If you have some great tips or tricks to soup making, or if you have a recipe you would love for me to try out on my family, please leave me a comment.
Thank you for looking!