An Organic Prairie spiral-cut ham can provide not one meal, but two. Serve it one week as the centerpiece of a sandwich buffet, then use the carcass the following week to make a hearty bean soup. For both meals you’ll also want thick sliced country-style bread spread with Organic Valley butter.
Place beans in a bowl, cover with cool water by an inch or two, and let beans soak 4-12 hours.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a soup pot over medium flame. Add onions and garlic; sauté until tender.
Add rosemary, beans, bean water, and carrots. Remove most of the meat left on the ham bone; chop it and set aside. Add bone to beans. Add additional water, if needed, to cover the beans by about two inches. Bring to simmer, skimming surface as needed. Reduce to low flame and cook slowly about 45 minutes. Add chopped ham and continue cooking until beans are partially tender, another 30 minutes or so. Add potatoes and 2 teaspoons of the chopped rosemary. Keep slowly simmering the soup until the potatoes and beans are very tender, 30-60 minutes longer.
At this point you can thicken the soup by smashing some of the potato chunks against the side of the pot. Season soup with salt and pepper to taste. Remove rosemary sprigs. Let soup cool down to room temperature. Refrigerate until serving time.
To serve, reheat soup, ladle it into bowls, and drizzle a little olive oil over the surface of each serving. Sprinkle each bowl with Parmesan and a bit of the remaining chopped rosemary. Serve immediately.
Copyright by Terese Allen