I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas!
I still haven’t had a chance to read any fantastic books to talk to you about. I am also trying to push another project out by 2016. You may have seen a little change on the home page of this website 😉 That’s part of the surprise.
I’ve also been watching “The Flash” on Netflix. It is one of the nicer sci-fi shows on Netflix compared to the MA rated “Jessica Jones” and others. If you can wrap your head around the fact that a scientist built a particle accelerator in the middle of a city of hundreds of thousands of people… then you’ll be all set! Completely ignore basic safety and physics, and you can watch the show.
The kids were pretty happy this Christmas – The oldest finished putting together this bad boy in like 3 hours. Oy!
The youngest was VERY happy with her hotel. The hotel set was pretty nifty and I had fun helping her with it. There’s a pool, piano lounge, ice cream bar, elevator, your own car, waterfall, chandelier and rotating doors!
My sister’s friend’s mom made this cake for us for Christmas – it had chocolate cherry cake inside!
It was too pretty to eat… but we made the sacrifice and ate it anyway. 🙂
Now that we are done with cake…. let’s move over to a hearty, healthy and very filling soup. There is a lot of protein in here from the ham, beans and lentils. The lentils, barley and beans provide a nice amount of fiber. The carrots and celery give this soup nice flavor and vitamins.
Recipe: For Christmas dinner, we had ham among other dishes. I used my trusty baked ham recipe and had about 2 pounds of leftovers. Woo hoo! Also, what to do with that end that doesn’t slice very well….??? Make soup! I love soup! It is pretty hard to mess up broth and ham really. Plus, you can throw in whatever ingredients you want to use up in the fridge or pantry. For me, I had some leftover quick cooking barley from Trader Joe’s and green lentils. Feel free to substitute the lentils for barley and vice versa. Or just omit them. The soup just won’t be as thick and it is a pretty thick soup anyway. I figure I would rather give you recipes for a thick soup than thin. It is sooooo much easier to thin a soup with some added broth or water than to try and make a soup thicker. Sometimes boiling it too long overcooks the rest of the food.
Remember our new food trick: add canned beans at the end! They are already cooked anyway and just need heated.
Feel free to switch and use whatever herbs you have on hand and like. I used oregano, rosemary and 21 seasoning salute (Trader Joe’s). But any combination of thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil, Italian seasoning, or the like will work.
I served this soup with a side of beer bread.
Hearty Ham and Bean Soup (Christmas Ham Leftovers!)
- 1 Tb. butter
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
- 1/2 cup dry green lentils, rinsed
- 1/2 tsp each of dried oregano, basil and rosemary
- 1/4 tsp. white or black pepper
- 4 cups chicken broth (or water)
- 2 cup cooked chopped ham
- 2 cans (15 oz) Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup quick cooking barley
- In a Dutch oven or large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery. Cook about 5-7 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
- Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds.
- Into the pot, add the lentils, dried herbs, pepper, and broth. Turn the heat up to medium high to get the soup the boil. Once at a boil, cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium low. Keep the soup at a simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the ham, beans and quick cooking barley. Bring the soup up to a boil again. Cover again and simmer over medium low for 10 minutes.
- Feel free to add more herbs, salt or pepper to taste. The soup is quite thick and hearty. Thin it out with more chicken broth or water.