The menu said “Fridge Food,” which usually means “open the fridge and see what you can find.” But the weather is cold and I wanted something nourishing and warm. After perusing the fridge, I decided to use the food I found to make soup. That was ham and leftover deer sausage. I had chicken stock, celery and carrots on hand, too, so it was easy to put something together. I’m putting the recipe down as I made it so I’ll be able to make it again.
Here’s how it panned out…
Ham and Bean and Cheese Soup
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 3 large carrots, diced
- 4 c. chicken stock (homemade is way superior to store bought)
- 1 cup ham, diced
- 1 c. deer sausage (or other spicy sausage), diced
- 1 T. dry onion
- dash of garlic powder
- 1 tsp. crushed dry basil
- 1 tsp. celery seed
- dash of ground cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 15-oz cans white beans, undrained
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 T. butter
- 3 T. flour
- 2 c. milk
- 8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
Cook the celery and carrots in the microwave or in a little water on the stovetop until tender. No need to drain the water.
Pour the chicken stock into a large soup pot. Add the celery/carrot and the diced meats.
Add the spices and the beans. Stir and let it simmer while white sauce is prepared.
In a separate pot, make the cheese sauce. Melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes. Add the milk and whisk until sauce thickens. Remove from the heat. Add the grated cheese and stir until melted.
Turn the heat off from under the soup pot. Add the cheese sauce and stir well. Add the parsley and stir. Enjoy!
Like many soups, exact measurements aren’t necessary. If you love carrots, add more. If you don’t like celery, leave it out. If you want to cook a diced onion with the veggies, do that instead of using dry onion. Or use diced green onions.
Diced cooked potatoes would be a good substitute for the beans.
If you’re not comfortable making a cheese sauce, use a jar of cheese spread or cheese dip, if you’re good with that.
I had deer sausage so used that with the ham. You could use just ham or you could use all sausage. Kielbasa would work fine.
What’s in your fridge?