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Soup is one of the easiest and most satisfying ways to stick to a healthy eating resolution. They’re naturally full of good-for-you things, like vegetables, broth and grains, so they’re an absolute essential when Scott and I recalibrate our diet after the holidays. Thing is, it never feels like diet-food to me and this Belly Warming Hatch Chile Ham Soup is so delicious — I think I’ll have seconds, please!
To make this and most other soups, stews and braises, I recommend a good quality dutch oven. I prefer enamel coated cast iron — they’re heavy, but they moderate the heat better than an aluminum or stainless steel pots. I have two and I use both of them regularly… So if you don’t already have one, here’s one by Dansk (it’s also got Mario Batali’s name attached to it) and I found this model which is billed as a lightweight cast iron via Sur La Table.
While most of the ingredients for this soup came from my pantry and the crisper drawer in the fridge, the fire-roasted hatch chiles did not. The chiles are courtesy of my good friend, Nola who brought back a bushel on her last trip out west. (If it weren’t for Nola, ours would be a bland existence.) If you don’t happen to be friends with Nola (yet), here’s a link to order your own hatch chiles. (Note: this link is through Thrive Market – kind of like a Costco membership model, but it gives access to tons of organic and hard to find items at a fraction of the regular cost!)
Hatch chiles have heat – but not overly so and if you’re ordering them online and not taking the luck of the draw from a chile bushel, you can specify your heat tolerance. Unless you are particularly sensitive, don’t worry about spicing it up too much, they just make a really flavorful broth with a little tingle – and if you are sensitive, check out this chicken noodle soup or this creamy tomato instead.
This soup comes together in under an hour – and most of that time is hands-off simmering time, which makes it fabulous for any weeknight meal! You can get the soup started and still help your kid with his Algebra homework.
I used a hearty multi-grain blend from Trader Joe’s for added heft, but you can also sub rice, quinoa, farro or barley for an equally delicious bowl of comfort.
Spicy Hatch Chile and Ham Soup
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 carrots peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
- 2 stalks celery cut into 1/2" pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound ham cooked leftover, (not deli meat) cut into 1/2" pieces
- 1 bay leaf
- 7-8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 15- ounce can diced tomatoes with their juice
- 1 can low-sodium black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 cup mild chilies I used fire-roasted hatch chile, peeled, seeded and chopped
- ½ cup quinoa or other whole grains such as I used a grain blend from Trader Joe's, farro, brown rice
- In a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Stir in the onions, carrots and celery and cook for 3-5 minutes, until softened.
- Add the ham, bay leaf, vegetable stock tomatoes, black beans and chiles. Stir to combine, cover and bring just to a boil.
- Reduce heat to an active simmer and add the grains. Cook for the recommended time on the package (quinoa is usually 15 minutes, farro is usually 20-25; brown rice is about 30).
- Taste for seasoning and serve.
More Savory Soups:
Alison Wolniak says
I did a search for ham and green chili and this popped up. I always have Pueblo green chilis in the freezer. My son is feeling a little under the weather so I was looking for an easy spiced up version of chicken noodle soup. This is going in my FAVORITES. I did double the amount of green chilis bc we like it with a lot of heat. Delicious. Thank you!
Ipsan "Ippy" says
Love the pictures. It’s my first time reading your blog but having read this motivates me a bit more to “recalibrate” my diet as well. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks you Ippy! I’m glad you like the pix – and this soup is delicious whether you’re recalibrating or not!
What a great soup – so much flavor and goodness! Love this:)
Lynn | The Road to Honey says
We’re going to be moving out of our teensy apartment (the one that was supposed to be temporary. . .ahem) and into a bigger place soooooo I finally will be reunited with my dutch oven (cel-e-brate good times, come on ?)!!! This also means soup for me morning, day and night (and not the kind you get out of a can). As for this soup. . . I’m loving all the yummy ingredients. . .lots for me to explore with each spoon full.
Congratulations on your new digs! That’s so exciting — and finally getting back that vital piece of kitchen equipment is the best bonus!
April J Harris (@apriljharris) says
What a gorgeous, flavourful soup! Your Warming Hatch Chili and Ham Soup is perfect for this time of year, so healthy and wholesome. And I agree, there’s nothing like a good Dutch oven for making soup!
Thanks so much, April — love my dutch oven!
Elaine @ Dishes Delish says
I could eat soup every day! I wish my hubby liked it as much as I do. This hatch chile ham soup looks so delicious! I too like to use my enameled covered cast iron pans!
Those pots are the best, aren’t they?
Sandhya Ramakrishnan says
I can totally take the ham out of the soup and make it vegetarian. Love the combination of whole grains with vegetables and that hatch chili is calling my name. Soups are so filling and healthy.
Absolutely! The chiles are what make this one so special!
You had me at belly warming! Thanks for the shout out and a new “bowl ‘o green” soup to make. Yum!
Watch out, Nola – you’re getting “legendary friend” status!
I couldn’t agree more! Soups are the best when it comes to eating healthy. They have everything you could want, and are warm, comforting, easy to make, and like you said, they don’t feel like diet food. I could eat this soup every day!
I could eat it every day, but it didn’t last that long…
I would like to have a friend like Nola! Those hatch chiles are a treat!
I’ll let her know!
Amanda | My Gluten-Free Miami says
This sounds perfect. I love soups, and this one is a step out of what I normally make. Pinned.
Thanks, Amanda — and it’s gluten-free too!
Belly warming and soul warming and so good. Lisa you have hit all the right spots with this stew. So good and like you I never see soup/stew as diet food.
Thank you, Meeta! Happy you approve!
Kate Veggie Desserts (@veggie_desserts) says
You can’t beat a warming soup on a cold day! And how nice to have a friend bring you hatch chiles. 🙂
I know — I’m very lucky!