This is adapted from a recipe in The 1500-Calorie-a-Day Cookbook. Most of those adaptations involved adding calories back in. Ahem. Anyway, this doesn't make much, so it's a nice lunch soup, not so much a big simmering pot of dinner with leftovers on the horizon.

Chunky Ham and String Bean Soup

2 C diced ham
1 C frozen cut green beans
½ C finely chopped onions
1 C chopped red or yellow bell pepper
½ C water
1 ¾ C milk
½ C instant dry mashed potatoes
¼ tsp pepper
½ C shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat until hot, and add a small amount of oil. Add the ham and cook 4 minutes or until beginning to brown lightly and any liquid has evaporated. Add the beans, the onion, the bell pepper, and the water. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat, cover, and simmer 10 minutes or until beans are very tender.

Stir in the milk, potatoes, and pepper. Cook, uncovered, 5 minutes on medium-low heat to warm through. Serve topped with cheese.

Makes 4 C soup

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