Cooking for 2 is such a challenge! We love dried beans but cooking a small amount doesn't seem worth the effort and we aren't keen on leftovers. This is something I came up with to mimic a hearty bean soup, without all the hassle or leftovers. Even drained and rinsed, canned beans are not something I use often - they taste "off" to me. The added lemon juice brightens up the canned flavor and I suggest not leaving it out. The vegetables can be varied according to taste. Omit the ham for a vegetarian meal or substitute cooked, crumbled bacon for an even richer flavor. Don't like Great Northern beans? Add the variety that pleases you. Using this recipe as a guide, follow *your* tastebuds.
- 2 teaspoons margarine (use butter if you prefer)
- 1 celery rib, finely diced
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons minced onions
- 2 small potatoes, peeled and finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1⁄2 cup cooked lean ham, diced
- 1 (14 ounce) can low sodium chicken broth
- 1 (15 ounce) can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper (to taste)
- 2 tablespoons instant potato flakes
- green onion, thinly sliced (optional)
- tomato, peeled and diced (optional)
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter.
- Add the celery, carrots and onion. Saute until veggies are tender - 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in the potatoes and ham.
- Add the broth, beans and lemon juice. Season with pepper to taste.
- Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the instant potatoes to thicken; use more or less until you get the consistency that pleases you.
- Optional - serve topped with thinly siced green onions and/or peeled, diced tomatoes.
- Serve with hot buttered cornbread.