Monday, March 16, 2009

My soup experiment- what to do with a ham bone

After perusing some recipes and finding mostly the sort that I love but hubby would not touch with a ten foot spoon, I'm working on my own brew. All because the ham bone keeps taking up freezer space and symmetry. (Hubby dislikes creamy, potatoey, or beany soups.)

Here's what I threw into the big pot:
*frozen ham bone, foil wrapping removed
*2 frozen boneless chicken breasts, because mom in law did such a good job carving the meat off the ham bone. or maybe it was grandma in law.
* 3/4 yellow onion, diced
*2 cloves garlic, pressed in my pampered chef garlic press. or was it 3?
* 3 stalks celery. chopped
* approx 1 c frozen corn
*several dashes of Italian-style seasoning
*1 whole bay leaf (my mom usually puts a bay leaf in her homemade broth-based soups. remove before serving soup)
*1/4 c olive oil
*4 buillion cubes (chicken)
And of course, I filled the pot with water.

Yet to add:
long grain rice of some type.... it's still at the store, and the baby's napping

to be continued....

......4:32 p.m.
The kids and I trekked to Kroger. Well, I should say rode to Kroger, we did not trek the mile there and back this time. ;) Came home, pulled the ham bone out, along with cartilage and fatty stuff. Then I removed the chicken breasts, chopped them up real good, and scraped the meat back off the cutting board into the pot. (Do I sound southern enough for y'all?) I added the following:

*1/2 red onion, chopped
*1 1/2 c brown rice
*1/4 c long whole grain rice
*ground tellicherry black pepper to taste

It's all simmering slowly in the 6 qt pot, waiting for the rice to be tender and hubby to come home. I might throw some sliced almonds on top when I dish the soup, I saw almonds in some of the recipes online but could not remember if they were a garnish or actually cooked in. On second thought, yes, almond flavor simmered in would be nice.... unless you're allergic to nuts.

CONCLUSION: Experiment was a success!
It's a good thing I decided to add the chicken, because there really was not much meat on the bone at all. But the combo of flavors tasted good. I probably did not need the olive oil, or as much, but it tasted fine... it was just a tad oilier than I prefer.But at least the rice did not stick to the bottom of the pot! Not bad, though, and still less fattening than many chilis! I ended up leaving the almonds out (forgot to add them), but I bet they would have been a nice touch.

Hubby's honest opinion: He doesn't like it as well as my top notch chicken noodle soup, but he would rate it "pretty good."

I've been stuck in a rut, and was tired of my regular soups (the aforementioned chicken noodle and veggie beef). I like soups when I'm recovering from colds and can taste my food again. This hit the spot for me. I'll find out if the leftovers are good tomorrow. If they are, I'll freeze a batch.