A couple years ago, my husband and I decided that we were going to break tradition for two holidays and instead of buying, prepping, and cooking food for those holidays, we'd buy a pre-cooked dinner and heat it up. The two holidays we picked are Easter and Christmas. On Christmas Day, my family spends several hours delivering Christmas cards to local nursing homes, and on Easter, we go to church and then do fun things with our little guy, like have an Easter egg hunt, so a pre-cooked meal for those holidays makes sense for us.

After Jay and I priced out what it would cost to have Easter dinner delivered to our house versus buying all of the ingredients, we found that it would actually be a few dollars cheaper to have everything delivered.

Lat Easter, we figured that by ordering a whole boneless ham, we'd get lots of meat to freeze and use over the next few months and we were so right. All three of us in my house love ham, but it got to the point that we were getting really tired of it, so we froze a bunch, and we made soup with the rest. The best thing about the soup is that we were able to freeze it in individual portion sizes and pulled it out over the course of the next few months whenever one of us wasn't feeling well, or just wanted a taste of comfort.

This is how we made leftover Easter ham soup.

Ingredients:

  1.     Roughly chopped up pieces of leftover ham- however much you want
  2.     2 cans of low sodium chicken broth (because ham already has so much sodium)
  3.     8 cups of water
  4.     2 cups of sliced carrots
  5.     1-1/2 cups chopped parsnips
  6.     1 cup chopped onion
  7.     2 teaspoons of pepper
  8.     1 cup frozen peas

Place everything in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. The soup will be done when the carrots and parsnips are nice and tender. If you want to add in pasta to bulk it up a bit, pick a small pasta like orzo and cook it according to the directions on the package, drain and then add to the soup and eat.

If you want to freeze your soup, do not add the cooked pasta. Cooked pasta or rice and the freezer don't go well together- you'll end up with a mushy mess when you heat up your soup. What I do is pull the soup out of the freezer and then the day that I'm going to eat it, I make a small amount of pasta or rice and add it to my soup before eating it.