After enjoying a spread of Classic Baked Ham you may wonder “What to do with ham leftovers?” (If you have any) You can chop the cooked ham for future use in omelets or scrambled eggs, casseroles or with pasta. Once the meaty portions are gone, you can freeze the ham bone to use to flavor greens, dry beans or field peas.
You can also make a light soup such as Rice & Peas with Ham and Parmesan Cheese. This recipe was inspired by one that a colleague shared when I was a food editor at Southern Living magazine. The traditional recipe known as Risi e Bisi (Ree c b c) is a classic Italian soup that is thicker and creamier than my version. My riff on the classic is light, yet filling. It is simple and easy to make, putting extra ham to good use in a savory dish that’s steps above the sandwich solution.
Rice & Peas Soup with Ham and Parmesan Cheese
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 cup dry white wine
6 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1-1/2 cups long grain white rice (Not instant rice)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups frozen peas (1-10 oz. pkg.), thawed
2 to 3 cups chopped cooked ham
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In 4-qt. Dutch oven, sauté onion, celery and garlic in olive oil over medium heat 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in wine and boil 5 minutes or until it almost evaporates. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low; simmer 10 minutes.
Stir in rice, parsley and salt; cover and simmer 15 to 18 minutes. Stir in peas, ham, Parmesan cheese, and pepper. Continue cooking over low heat 5 to 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Garnish with additional parsley, if desired. Makes 4 to 6 servings
NOTE: If reheating, add additional broth, if needed.