½ tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 medium onion chopped
3 ribs celery chopped
3 carrots peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 (15.5) ounce cans white beans rinsed and drained
2 bay leaves
1 ¼ – 1 ½ lb bone in ham steak
Heat oil in a Dutch oven or heavy stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots. Cook until the onion and celery have softened; 6-7 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low and add the garlic, thyme leaves, cumin, white pepper and crushed red pepper cooking for 1 minute while stirring constantly. Stir in the chicken broth, brown sugar, white beans and bay leaves.
Add the ham steak by slicing it into sections that will fit in the pot. Don’t forget to include the ham bone. Let everything simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Then remove the ham from the pot and cut into bite size pieces. Discard any fat, skin, the ham bone and the bay leaves. Then return the ham to the pot and simmer for 5 minutes. If desired season to taste with additional black pepper, crushed red pepper or thyme.
For a creamy texture puree a small portion of the soup with a handheld immersion blender or in a stand blender. Always remove the inner cap when blending hot liquids.