Amy's mom had us over for Easter and served one of the best hams the family's ever had. With a gorgeous fat cap, it was moist, tender and full of flavor. But that side of the family is pretty small, and with one picky first grader and her super-picky mom, we had plenty of leftovers. While the first thing that comes to mind for most New Englanders is the traditional split-pea soup, Amy was inspired by this recipe to make a white bean soup. With a few modifications, it was a light and easy post-holiday meal.
White Bean and Leftover-Easter-Ham Soup
adapted from this recipe by Grace Parisi
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and pressed
5 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
4 cups low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
3 14-ounce cans cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
fat cap from ham
3/4-1 pound ham leftovers, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
freshly ground black pepper
In a large soup pot, melt the butter. Add the onion, carrot, garlic, thyme sprigs and coriander and cook the vegetables over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the stock, beans and fat cap and bring to a boil. Cover partially and cook over moderate heat for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and remove the fat cap and thyme sprigs from the soup and discard. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup to desired consistency. Return soup to heat and add ham pieces. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook over low heat until ham is heated through. Serve with crusty bread!