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Ham, Bean & Kale Soup

2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb thickly sliced ham, cut into cubes
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
7 cups chicken broth
1 head escarole, cored, leaves torn into pieces *
2 cans (15 oz each) white beans, drained
2 Tbsp minced rosemary
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large heavy pot, warm 2 Tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the ham and sauté until crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add more oil if necessary and sauté the onion and garlic over medium heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the greens and cook, stirring, until wilted, 2-3 minutes. Add the beans, rosemary, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir in the ham. Mash some of the beans to thicken the soup slightly and simmer for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve, garnished with some of the cheese. Pass the remaining cheese at the table.

Serves 4-6.

* If you can't find escarole, substitute kale or swiss chard.

Soup of the day book, p. 54
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Header photo by
Gillian Gunson