This ham and bean soup recipe gets great flavor from a smoked ham hock, fresh vegetables, and fresh herbs. Starting with a package of dried bean soup mix instead of using canned beans helps keep the sodium in check.
1 (12-ounce) package variety dried seven-bean mix
1 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped carrot (about 2)
1 cup chopped celery (3 ribs)
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 smoked ham hock (about 4 ounces)
1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
How to Make It
Sort and wash beans; place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; cover and let stand 8 hours. Drain beans.
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add beans, broth, and remaining ingredients except juice; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 1/2 hours. Remove ham hock from pan; cool slightly. Remove ham from bones; finely chop and return meat to pan. Discard bones, skin, and fat. Discard bay leaf. Stir in juice.
Soak the beans and chop the vegetables the night before to shave prep time. Measure one-quarter cupfuls of seven varieties of dried beans to use in place of the 12-ounce variety mix. A serving contributes more than one-third of your daily fiber needs.
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