Suppose you cooked a delectable pot of pochero (puchero) for a holiday family lunch or dinner and, after all the tasty meat has been consumed, you find you still have several cups of broth left. Not just ordinary broth but the broth made by simmering ham, ham bones, chorizos, beef (with the marrow) and chicken. What do you do with the broth? Rather sinful to throw away.
One idea is to continue simmering the broth until reduced to less than a quarter and freeze the concentrate in an ice cube tray. Those little cubes can be dropped into the pan for making sauces and gravies.
Or, you can use the broth to make a soup. In my case, there was quite a lot of meat attached to the ham bones. I used half to make spring rolls; I reserved the other half to cook this soup.
Ham and Pasta Soup
- 100 grams pasta shells cooked according to package directions
- 1 cup chopped ham scrap ham, in my case
- 1 medium carrot peeled and cut into half-inch cubes
- 10 string beans the short variety known as Baguio beans in these parts, not yard-long beans, stringed and cut into half-inch lengths
- 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil, or a combination of the two
- 1 large onion finely sliced
- 2 large tomatoes diced
- 5 to 6 cups bone broth
- Heat the olive oil or butter (or both) in a pan.
- Add the onion and tomatoes and cook gently until softened.
- Pour in the broth.
- Add the carrot cubes, ham and string beans.
- Bring to the boil, cover, lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Add the cooked pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer just until the pasta is heated through.
- Serve hot.