I'm not gonna lie...this is a total cheater recipe. It is the simplest and quickest stew recipe you will make, although it's not from scratch, but working a full time job it does the job for a comfort food supper. Again, this is easily adaptable to be vegan by using vegetable broth and omitting the ham. We served this with some delicious garlic rubbed toast.
Fast White Bean and Ham Soup
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1 (14-15oz) can stewed tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable)
2 (19 oz) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 lb baked ham cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (5 oz) bag baby arugula
sliced wheat levain
Cook garlic in 1/4 cup olive oil in a heavy saucepan over moderately high heat, until golden, about 1 minute. Meanwhile, using kitchen shears, coarsely cut up tomatoes in can and add entire can to garlic and oil. Stir in broth, beans, ham and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 5 minutes. Stir in greens and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.
While stew is simmering preheat boiler and add olive oil to a shallow plate, making a pool. Lightly submerge olive oil on plate and place on a baking sheet. Broil 3-4 inches from heat for about 1 1/2 minute. Remove pan and rub toasts with garlic clove.
Serve stew with toasts.