You know it's been a while when I'm still referring to post-holiday food in my fridge :) My mom cooked a delicious ham in the oven for pre- and post-Christmas snacking, so of course she sent us home with the obligatory "feed your daughter and son-in-law the holiday leftovers so we don't have to eat them". But hey, food is food, right? :) Less grocery shopping for me to do!
Anyway, back to the soup. I love soup during the winter because it's so comforting and hearty. I love beans in soup, too, so I hunted around online for a tasty recipe that would incorporate my leftover ham and have some extra oomph to it. Enter Taste of Home's Ham 'n' Chickpea Soup! (BTW, I love old-fashioned spelling like that - it looks so old school and homey, don'tcha think? Just like momma used to make :) ) Hubby's grandma even gifted me with a subscription to TOH's Healthy Cooking series for Christmas. Their recipes are easy and delicious, and you can find pretty much everything you need already in your pantry. Woohoo for that!
Okay, I know you're ready for the soup. It's really easy so take a deep breath and change into your jammies first :)
Cook your Israeli couscous on the stove according to package directions. I bought mine at Trader Joe's and I love its nutty, chewy consistency. Think of regular couscous, but bigger and with a taste more like al dente pasta. Yum :)
While your couscous is cooking, gather everything else together. Easy peasy, no? BTW...the peppermint bark does not go in the soup, if you were wondering.
Sauté your onions in your monster soup pot.
Add your ham and spices and heat everything together.
Add your broth (I substituted chicken for beef - I'm not a big beef fan).
Add your tomatoes.
Double bubble, toil and trouble...just kidding. Well, not really...it does have to boil first :)
Add your chickpeas and simmer it down!
Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top.
Mmm. I love soup.
You can find the recipe here. Feel free to substitute any kind of small pasta shape for the orzo, like I did with the Israeli couscous. Good stuff!