- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 medium carrots or 15 baby carrots, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- 4 cups low-sodium canned chicken broth
- 2 (15-ounce) cans white beans (cannellini or great northern), with the liquid
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups ham, cooked, chopped
- 1/2 cup milk or cream (optional)
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
Heat oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot to medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery, sauté about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and dried red pepper flakes, cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Add chicken broth and bay leaves. Increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat, add ham and milk or cream, if using. Cook for 15-20 minutes.
Discard the bay leaves. Serve with crusty bread. (Note: You can puree soup, if desired, for a thicker version.
Note: You could substitute cooked turkey or beef instead of ham in this recipe.