This hearty, flavorful soup has a swirl of herbal pistou that elevates all of the flavors. Tasters couldn't get enough. Don't skip the fresh basil and parmesan blend -- it MAKES the soup.
Course Main Course, Soup
Keyword baked ham, barley, basil
Dietary Restrictions Egg Free
Prep Time 15minutes
Cook Time 1hour
Total Time 1hour15minutes
stock pot or dutch oven
FOR HAM & VEGETABLE SOUP
2 tablespoonsolive oil
1medium yellow oniondiced
4medium carrotspeeled and diced into 1/2" to 1" pieces
3stalkscelerydiced into 1/2" pieces
2large garlic cloves
15ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
2- 15ounce cans Great Northern Beans(or small white beans)with their canning liquid
1/2cup pearl barley
5sprigs fresh thymetied with a kitchen string
2cups fresh green beanstrimmed and cut into 1" pieces (or use frozen green beans)
8cupslow sodium chicken brothpreferably homemade
rind of Parmigiano Reggianooptional
FOR BASIL PISTOU:
1/4teaspooncrushed red pepper flakes
1/4cup + 2 tablespoonsolive oil
3/4cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
FOR THE SOUP:
In a large pot or Dutch Oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery and sauté until the vegetables are tender and the celery and onions are slightly translucent.
Stir in the garlic and heat through for one minute.
Add the diced ham, can of tomatoes, both cans of beans with their liquid, the bay leaf, thyme and chicken broth. Stir to combine and heat just to boiling. Add the rind of parmegiano reggiano if using.
Stir in the pearl barley and cook for 35 to 40 minutes or until the barley is almost done cooking. (Note, if using quick cooking barley, increase the amount to 3/4 cup and cook for 15 minutes or until done).
Add the green beans and cook for 5-6 minutes or until the beans are just tender. Remove from heat.
FOR THE PISTOU:
Roughly chop the garlic and transfer it to a mini prep food processor. Add the fresh basil leaves, salt, lemon zest and crushed red pepper flakes. Pulse several times, scraping down the sides as necessary until the basil is finely chopped.
Add the parmesan cheese and pulse to combine.
Use the “drizzle” function on the food processor to add the olive oil as you pulse the pistou to make a thick paste. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Use a pair of tongs to fish out the bay leaf, bundle of thyme and rind of parmesan cheese. Discard.
Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls and add a tablespoon of pistou to the hot soup. Swirl it into the soup and enjoy.