Ham, white beans, and vegetables are sautéed in butter, then simmered in water to form a broth. Cream added at the end provides a silky richness. This is the perfect use for leftover ham, and is ready in 30 minutes or less!
1. Peel the carrots. Chop the carrots, onion, celery and ham into roughly 1/2 inch pieces. (If your ham is already sliced, just cut it up into bite-sized squares.)
2. Heat the butter in a stock pot on medium high heat. Add in the vegetables and ham, plus the kosher salt (see note 1), pepper, and dried thyme.
3. Sauté, stirring frequently, until the ham and vegetables start to give off some liquid and the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. (If you have an electric kettle: half way through the cooking time, start heating 2 cups of water in the kettle.)
4. Add 2 cups of water to the pot, either already boiling (see step 3 above), or very hot from the tap. Add the 2 cans of beans, undrained, to the pot.
5. Turn the heat up to high until the soup begins to boil. (You can cover the pot if you want to speed up the boiling process; uncover the pot again once the soup is boiling.) Turn the heat down to medium or medium low to maintain a simmer.
6. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Turn the heat off and add the half & half or cream, stir to combine. Taste the soup and add more salt and/or pepper if needed.
Keywords: ham soup, ham and white bean soup, ham chowder, ham and white bean chowder, white bean chowder