Ham enhances canned soup

March 14, 2007|By Carol Mighton Haddix | Carol Mighton Haddix,Chicago Tribune

Soup from a can for dinner seems sad somehow. But sometimes, that's all that time allows. That doesn't mean you can't jazz it up with pantry items and maybe leftover ham. That's what I did recently.

I pulled a can of split pea soup from the shelf, then rummaged in the refrigerator for any additions. Leftover ham, cubed, went into a skillet to saute in a little butter with chopped shallots.

I sprinkled a little garam masala into the ham mixture, then added the soup. While it simmered, I decided I needed something more.

I found a semi-dry baguette loaf on top of the microwave oven and made crisps topped with grated cheese and baked at 400 degrees for a few minutes.

Carol Mighton Haddix is food editor of the Chicago Tribune, which provided the recipe analysis.

Jazzed-up Split Pea Soup With Cheddar Crisps

Serves 2 -- Total time: 22 minutes

1 tablespoon butter

2 shallots, minced

1 cup cubed, cooked ham

1 teaspoon garam masala or curry powder (see note)

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) split pea soup (not concentrated)

4 slices French baguette

1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper or paprika

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat; add shallots. Cook, stirring until softened, 5 minutes. Add ham and garam masala; cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in the soup. Cook until hot and flavors blend, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, place bread slices on a baking sheet. Mound one-quarter of the cheese on each slice; sprinkle with red pepper or paprika. Bake in oven until cheese melts and bread is crisp, about 5 minutes. Pour soup into two bowls. Top each with 2 of the cheese crisps, or serve the crisps on the side.

Note: Garam masala is sold in Indian, spice and specialty shops as well as the spice section of larger supermarkets.

Per serving: 533 calories, 24 grams fat, 11 grams saturated fat, 98 milligrams cholesterol, 46 grams carbohydrate, 35 grams protein, 1,256 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber


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