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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Hearty ham and vegetable soup

This HAM & VEGETABLE SOUP is one of my favourites.
Making soup can be time consuming, but the result often outweighs the inconvenience. Soups with a depth of flavour often take time to produce too.
To help, you'll find most supermarkets sell hot ham hocks on the deli counter, and I use one of these to make a very large batch of soup. 
The hocks can be quite salty, so the first thing I do is peel off the fat and taste. If it is too salty, I'll rinse it under cold water before removing all the meat. Use the bones in the soup to add flavour. 
There should be plenty of meat for a salad/sandwich too.
Here's my recipe for this hearty soup:
 DELICIOUS HAM & VEGETABLE SOUP
Ingredients
400g tin haricot beans (all I had in the cupboard)
200g chopped tinned tomatoes
200g new potatoes, chopped
 Large spoonful of tomato paste
2 onions, sliced
2 sticks celery, sliced
2 large carrots, roughly chopped
A leek (optional)
garlic to taste
teaspoon dried mixed herbs (or fresh thyme and rosemary)
1 litre of water mixed with chicken stock cubes to taste
A little 'new season' shredded Savoy cabbage (or any green cabbage)
200g cooked ham, roughly chopped
60g frozen peas
60g dried soup pasta (but I used pre-cooked Spatzle here)
strong cheddar to garnish
***
Fry the onions, celery and leek for 10 minutes then add garlic and herbs if using. 

Add beans, tomatoes, potatoes, tomato paste, carrots and stock.

 Cook until vegetables are tender (30-40 minutes). 

Blend around a third of the soup.

Add the shredded cabbage and ham.

Finally add peas and the pre-cooked Spatzle* and cook for a further five minutes.

Sprinkle with a little strong grated cheese like cheddar or parmesan... and enjoy.
***
*NOTE: If you only have dried spaghetti, break this into 2cm pieces and throw it in (uncooked) for the last 5 minutes of cooking. You could use your favourite tinned beans if you don't have haricot.
***
Do you know how many calories you are entitled to?
Here's a link to our very first blog post about our weight loss journey, which we began in January 2011. We started this blog as a way of recording what we ate while losing weight without following a conventional diet.
You'll find our WEIGHT LOSS PLAN here. 
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