Sunday, September 28, 2014

Colorful Crockpot Bean and Ham Soup

Doesn't Fall just whet your appetite for soup? When the leaves begin to change color and the air cools down, there's nothing better than a crockpot full of hearty soup and a crusty loaf of bread to make the perfect lunch or dinner.

Because my hubby and I are not always the healthiest eaters, soup offers an easy way to pack lots of nutritious ingredients into a one-pot dish. My version of bean and ham soup is loaded with fiber, protein, calcium and vitamins with its combination of legumes and vegetables. Best of all, after doing a little chopping, dicing and sautéing, the crockpot does the rest of the favorite kind of cooking!

Here is my recipe for Colorful Crockpot Bean and Ham Soup:

1 can light red kidney beans
2 cans Great Northern beans
1 can cannellini beans
2 cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
4 scallions
3 celery stalks
2 carrots
2 Roma tomatoes
3 sprigs fresh thyme
12 oz lean ham, diced
oil or butter

Chop scallions, celery, carrots, and thyme. Heat oil or butter in a pan. Add vegetables and thyme and cook until partially softened, about 5 minutes. Drain beans. Put all beans, vegetables, including diced tomatoes, and ham into crockpot. Add broth and water, then stir all ingredients together. Cook on medium heat for a few hours or on low heat all day.

Serve with warm bread or crackers.

Soups taste better and better as the flavors meld together. Mr. Merman and I especially enjoy our soups on the second or third day...that is, if there is any left by then!

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