BROOMFIELD, Colo. — Each month, the Colorado Department of Agriculture features a different product to highlight the variety and quality of products grown, raised or processed in the state. This month beans are showcased in the Pinto Bean and Ham Soup recipe. Colorado produces a wide range of bean varieties including pinto, light red kidney and black, and the state ranks eighth nationally in dry bean production. Beans are fat free, high in fiber, rich in antioxidants and are a good source of protein. Look for Colorado beans at your local grocery store or at restaurants across the state.
Pinto Bean and Ham Soup
Chef Jason K. Morse, C.E.C., 5280 Culinary, LLC and Ace Hardware Grill Expert
4 Slices Thick Cut Applewood Bacon, diced
2 Cups Ham, diced
1/2 Cup Carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 Cup Celery, diced
1/2 Cup Red Onion, diced
1 Tbsp. Garlic, minced
1-1/2 Tbsp. All Purpose Seasoning
1 Tsp. Black Ground Pepper
2 Bay Leaves
2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
3 Cans Pinto Beans, drained (do not rinse)
2 Quarts Chicken Stock
Heat a large cast iron dutch oven on your stove top on high heat for 5 minutes. Add the diced bacon and cook until bacon is half cooked. Add the ham, carrots, celery and onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, seasoning, pepper, bay leaves and thyme, mix well then cook for 5 minutes. Add the beans and stock and mix well. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Place the cover on the dutch oven and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Adjust the seasoning as needed. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until half of the mixture is blended. If soup is too thin, cook uncovered for 5 minutes at medium heat to reduce. If soup is too thick, add more stock as needed to get desired thickness.
Enjoy with a glass of Colorado wine such as Dry Riesling from Plum Creek Cellars in Palisade, Colorado. Visit www.coloradoagriculture.com for a complete list of recipes.
— Colorado Department of Agriculture
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