Last night I used up the last of the Christmas ham in this very simple but satisfying soup. I threw in some fresh parsley, some of the last that I harvested from the garden a couple weeks ago. If I had had kale or other greens on hand, I would have added them as well. I bet this would be tasty with sausage or bacon instead of the ham, too.
1 large onion, chopped
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups white beans, picked over and soaked for several hours
2-3 cups diced cooked ham
Water or stock
1 cup loosely packed chopped fresh or frozen parsley (or a couple cubes if frozen in trays)
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat some olive oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 4-5 minutes. Add the beans and ham and enough water or stock to just cover them. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the beans are soft (30-60 minutes depending on the size and age of the beans and how long they soaked beforehand). Check periodically in case more liquid is needed. The end product should be a thick soup.
When the beans are tender, add the parsley and salt and pepper. Serve hot.
Serves about 4.