Mexican Ham and Bean Soup

From Cooking Light, October 2002

8 servings (approx. 1 1/2 cups soup, 1 tablespoon cheese, and 1 tablespoon cilantro)
I also added Tabasco, salt, and a Tablespoon of sour cream to my bowl which isn’t in the nutritional information.

1 pound dried pinto beans 
6 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups cubed smoked ham steak (about 8 ounces)
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3 bay leaves
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 chipotle chile (or 1/2 Tbsp diced chipotle in adobo sauce)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Manchego cheese or Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro

Sort and wash beans; place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes; remove from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour. Drain.
Combine beans, broth, and next 8 ingredients (broth through garlic) in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Partially cover; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender.
Stir in tomatoes and chile; simmer 30 minutes. Discard bay leaves and chile. Ladle soup into 8 bowls. Top with cheese; sprinkle with cilantro.

Nutritional Information
Calories:303 (12% from fat); Fat:4.2g (sat 1.8g,mono 1.3g,poly 0.5g); Protein:20.3g; Carbohydrate:46.8g; Fiber:16.1g; Cholesterol:22mg; Iron:4.3mg; Sodium:958mg; Calcium:153mg


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