Picspam: Smoked Ham & Bean Soup and Japanese Purple Sweet Potato Bread

Sometimes you just don’t have the energy to make a comprehensive recipe post but you still want to share something you think is worth while. I made both of these dishes over the last few days.

The first dish, a smoked ham and cannellini bean soup that I’ve made in the past, is an easy, fast and filling dish, especially if you use canned cannellini beans. Or, you can be like me and soak about a pound of dried beans overnight and cook them when you finally get up on a lazy, Saturday morning.

I didn’t have any smoked ham hock but I had a chunk of smoked ham so I diced some of it up and threw it in along with the veggies at the end. If you’re cooking for a family of four, you’ll have enough for a second serving for everyone. If you’re cooking for one, it freezes very well for future meals. For my friend, spikesgirl58 on LJ, who doesn’t care for ham, I think you could use smoked turkey leg in its place.

I stocked up on some pantry items from a local international (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese) grocery store, a few days ago. One of the things that caught my eye in the fresh fruit and vegetable section was a small display of Japanese purple sweet potatoes. I was bored so I decided to try a fun purple sweet potato bread recipe I found on the Bake with Paws blog. (PS: The name made me think of the Youtube channel Cooking with Dog which I recommend for anyone interested in Japanese cooking.)

The recipe is relatively straight forward but I thought I’d throw in some pretty pictures … just because I took a LOT. The potatoes were peeled, sliced and steamed until tender and then riced to get a nice even texture.

I was pleased with the colour of the dough

Unfortunately, the post-bake colour was a lot less vibrant … sort of lavender in colour. Toasting it seemed to pep up the colour a bit. The texture was nice and fluffy and the taste was somewhat sweet due to the sweet potatoes. I wouldn’t use the bread for an egg or tuna salad sandwich but it provided a nice contrast to the salty peanut butter.

14 thoughts on “Picspam: Smoked Ham & Bean Soup and Japanese Purple Sweet Potato Bread

    1. It’s a substitution that I ran across some time ago. I’ve never tried it myself … maybe one day, I will. The purple bread was a fun experiment.

      1. Exactly. How many more ways can you cook chicken breast? I feel I am going to turn into a chicken myself soon, but that’s the only meat my husband can have, other than turkey breast.

      2. I’m limited to chicken, pork and fish based on budget. The fish is pricier so I don’t have it often.

        And beef (other than ground beef) is even MORE expensive so I rarely have it. I DO have a couple of steaks in the freezer for when I want to treat myself. I even bought a small pkg of 3 beef short rib strips. SO expensive. I think I’m going to use them to make some beef soup.

      3. We are lucky with fish; we can buy fresh catch at Restaurant Depot at pretty reasonable prices, depending on the season, of course, because my husband has a business account there. But he has to clean and scale it himself, and I have to clean the entire kitchen afterwards! It is usually worth the effort, though.

  1. Wow, that purple bread looks awesome! I’m very worried about the cold season that will be soon upon us, but that soup looks good enough to divert my attention for at least a few moments!

  2. Why would you not use if for egg or tuna salad, because of its sweetness? Because it’s color would be so perfect for Easter, which would then make me hope it’s be good with eggs.

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