Soup and Salad, Retro Style

My usual comfort foods are pretty run-of-the-mill — brownies, mashed potatoes, spaghetti, scrambled eggs and toast.

But sometimes comfort takes the shape of a salad. Nothing fancy — just the kind of “old fashioned” salad that I remember eating as a child. Pale green romaine, shredded carrots, radish coins. And zesty Italian dressing right out of the bottle.  Delicious.

After salad, we moved on to bread and butter and black bean soup. The soup is just a pound of black beans simmered for a long time in what we’re going to call hot ham water, for all you Arrested Development fans.

As you might have noticed, we Os are on a Nigella Lawson kick, and when ham went on sale this week, we bought one to make Nigella’s Ham in Coca-Cola. The basic idea is to boil the ham in several liters of Coke (with an onion thrown in) and then glaze it at high heat once it’s done. Of course, the recipe is meant for an unsliced ham.

We got a spiral-sliced ham.

So our hot ham water is super-salty, super hammy, sweet, black broth. Nigella advises saving the broth, cooking it with black beans, cumin, and lime, and serving with cilantro.  We found it delicious, but thanks to our mistake, very, very strongly salty and sweet. We froze the rest to add a little at a time to split pea soups.


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