Warm and Hearty on a Cold Day

Well, it’s wintery outside and I’ve got a hankering for some tasty soups.  Also, I got a new crock pot for Christmas and I think it’s time to break it in.

crockI just finished off the last of some great lentil soup from the book Tasting Colorado that I reviewed a few months ago.  I like to keep soups frozen in single portions so I can grab one for lunch or thaw one out for dinner but my freezer is now bare.  My standbys are Split Pea, Chili, and Ham and Bean.  My Ham and Bean soup is fabulous; I’ll give you the recipe and some cute cat pics.

The most important thing is to find dried cannellini beans.  Cannellini beans are larger and more buttery tasting than navy beans.  Unfortunately, the only place I can find them is Whole Foods.  (You may remember my rant about the search for beans from this review.)  They are about the size of kidney beans which means to get them to cook at this altitude, you have to soak them overnight and then simmer all day in the crock pot.  I use dried kidney beans for chili and I can’t find a way around this process, no matter how long I simmer on the stove or soak beforehand, the beans are crunchy unless they get a good eight hours in the crock pot.  I’m hoping this new one will help me out, if you look at the picture you’ll notice that the lid locks on.  I have two mischievous cats who I don’t trust with a crock pot but maybe I can trust them a bit more with this one.

Artemis, Mauler of Paper

Artemis, Mauler of Paper

Athena, destroyer of boxes

Athena, Opener of Doors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, back to my bean soup recipe:

2 cups dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight

6 cups chicken broth

1 cup diced ham

1 bay leaf

2 cloves garlic, diced

1 cup diced carrot

salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients except for the carrots and garlic in a crock pot and cook all day.  Add carrots and garlic about 1-2 hours before serving.  Remove bay leaf before serving.  Freezes for up to six months (maybe longer but it’s normally gone by then).

What’s your favorite soup for cold weather?  Leave me a note in the comments, I love to try new recipes.

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