Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins
There's a great butcher shop down the street from my folks; they always supply the smoked ham for the holidays. I tried this recipe to use up the leftovers---it was soooo good!! It's a take on a Tuscan Bean Stew recipe I had found a while ago. Serve this with a big chunk of rustic bread. (If you didn't want to use dried beans, just use canned beans--drain and rinse.)
- 1 lb dried beans, any type
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onions, chopped or 1 1⁄2 cups chopped onions
- 2 medium celery ribs, chopped or 3⁄4 cup chopped celery
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped or 1 cup chopped carrot
- 8 medium garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 3 cups smoked ham, cubed (more or less, depending on your leftovers)
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 3 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups raw spinach, cut into thin strips
- 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes (I didn't drain them, I like it a little soupy)
- Put the dried beans in 4 quarts of water--add 3 tablespoons salt and stir to dissolve. Soak overnight at room temperature. (At least 8 hours and no more than 24.) Drain and rinse well.
- Heat oven to 250 degrees. Saute onions, celery, and carrots until they are softened and lightly browned. Stir in garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Add ham, broth, water, bay leaves, and beans. Increase heat to high and bring to a simmer. Cover pot and place in oven; cook 45 minutes to an hour.
- Add spinach and tomatoes to the pot, cover, and return to oven. Cook another 30-40 minutes until beans are fully tender.
- Remove from oven; take bay leaves out of the stew. Recover the pot and let it stand for 15 minutes before serving.