Happy 2015I And thank you, 2014. You brought me adventure and challenges and lots of kale. I liked seeing Sedona and counting the different shades of hotel wallpaper and lifting myself into a handstand and signing my first big girl lease. For that, I am grateful.
I've been sitting on this soup recipe for a while. I just got back to Los Angeles on Friday, but spent a wonderful, nearly two week period lounging around my Virginia home, cooking with my mother, and laying on my belly to watch football when my father cracked pistachios. Bottles of champagne have been poured and emptied (repeatedly). On New Year's Eve I shivered my tush off and romped around the freezing streets of Astoria with college buddies. I also made a ham bone soup.
Ham bone soup doesn't sound like New Years. If anything, it sounds like Halloween, and something you would concoct while pretending to be a witch and throwing a bunch of spooky vegetables (think white carrots) into a pot and pretend you're straight up out of Hocus Pocus. And as fun as that sounds, ham bone soup post the jolly season can be quite...JOLLY. It's one of those things you let sit on the stove for a while, allowing the scent to dance through the kitchen and up to the stairs into you family members' bedrooms. One by one, they scamper down the stairs, allow their noses to rest over the pot, and take in the scent of a lunch-made-with-love.
(In addition, when you make ham bone soup, you've made a distraction that keeps others away from that box of boozy Vienna chocolates....Shhh....)
And ham bone soup works as a solid image of what I want 2015 to look like. Using leftovers (aka, expressing gratitude for what it is I currently have) and providing nourishment (to both myself and my loved ones). Because with the years moving like a buttered up kid on the slip n' slide, I don't want to miss a thing.
Cheers! And Happy New Year.
ham and bean soup
8 cups vegetable broth
2 cans of cannellini beans, or dried, if you prefer
3 large carrots, diced
2 large celery stalks, diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups of spinach, or another leafy green of your choosing. collards would be tasty.
freshly ground black pepper, for serving
grated parmesan cheese, for serving
Place a large pot over medium-high heat and add about one tablespoon of olive oil. Add the diced onions, celery, and carrots, and cook for about five minutes, or until the veggies have softened. Add the garlic, and cook for one minute more.
Put the ham bone and bay leaf into the pot. Add the tomato paste, vegetable broth, vinegar, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, add the beans and then simmer for one hour. Taste and season, if desired. About 15 minutes before serving, add the greens and stir.
Remove the bone and the bay leaf. Some of the ham bitties might have fallen into the soup, which is A-OKAY in my book.
Serve with parmesan cheese and black pepper, if desired.