Filling chunky ham and bean soup recipe

chunky ham and bean soup

I made this chunky ham and bean soup quickly on Monday evening and to be honest, it has got to be the best soup I have ever made. It was so tasty. I love how filling it is and after a bowlful at lunchtime, it warmed me up and kept me full, stopping me picking at anything naughty in between meals.

The recipe is very SW friendly and it’s a synfree lunch or dinner option. This recipe makes a huge saucepan full and has given me 3 big portions to take for my lunch at work. Perfect for when you need warming up or a quick filling meal.


2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 sticks of celery, chopped
400g of lean ham, chopped in to bitesize pieces
1 carton of passatta with onion and garlic
Splash of Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons of tomato puree
1 can of baked beans
Frylight (or similar)


– In a large saucepan, spritz some Frylight and fry the carrots, onion, garlic, ham and celery for 4-5 minutes until soft
– Pour in the passatta and give it a good stir
– Simmer the soup for 10 minutes
– Add a splash of worcestershire sauce and stir
– Add the can of baked beans and tomato puree
– Stir, bring to the boil and simmer for another 5 minutes until fully cooked through
– Enjoy!

I’m not a fan of tomato soup but this soup really is beautiful. I love how thick and chunky it is and it really does fill you up.

I’ve had it for my lunch at work this week and really enjoyed it. Best of all, it’s completely synfree as it uses free, speed and protein foods so you can fill up on it without having to touch any syns. I dunked a Ryvita crispbread in to my soup which was lovely.

ham soup 1

I’ll be making this soup again over the weekend for next week’s lunchtimes at work, it’s a definite favourite of mine!


can will watch

After last week’s insignificant result on the scales, I wanted to have a really good week on plan. I was so frustrated that I hadn’t lost weight, I don’t understand it sometimes. I thought I had done pretty much the same as the last 24 weeks where I’ve lost weight but the scales didn’t seem to reward my efforts.

So back to the drawing board this week, back to basics and see if I was doing something that I didn’t realise I was doing that wasn’t helping me. After filling in my SAS logs that my SW consultant gave me, the results showed that whilst I plan my meals (which are mostly synfree) I use my syns for a treat in the evening and sometimes the treat isn’t always accurately counted. I also discovered I’ve been ‘pinching’ a couple of bites here and there of Little Mr’s meals. So I’d bite the crust on his white toast or pinch a chip or two from his plate. Obviously this all adds up so need to reign that in. No pinching little bits off anyone’s plate!

This week I stood on the scales to see I’d lost one pound. You can imagine my face as I stood on those scales but I’m glad that I lost something no matter how small and if I could lose at least 1lb per week between now and the end of the year I’d be 52lb lighter. I’d be hugely chuffed with that. It would mean I’m at my lowest weight in at least 10 years and that would be fantastic!

The plan this week is to be more aware of what I’m eating. Hubby and I have a meal out on Friday evening which won’t be very SW friendly so if I can be good for the remaining 20 meals of the week I’m hoping I can have a good loss. Combine that with minimising syns to less than 10 per day, having lots more free/speed food with my meals and drinking lots of water and no added sugar squash, I am hoping with everything crossed that next week’s weightloss will be more exciting! My determination is sky high so I’m hoping that it’ll be a good one.

So overall January wasn’t my best month on the SW plan (no Slimmer of the Month for me!) but I’m super determined to make February count.

Healthy foods swaps with Waitrose

With the new year in full swing and in the month where lots of families up and down the UK make resolutions of change, Waitrose challenged me to see if I could make some healthy food swaps to make our family diet healthier without changing it altogether.

I’ve already made a few swaps to my diet over the last few months (following the Slimming World plan and have lost 45lb to date) but haven’t forced my diet on my hubby and Little Mr. I thought the Waitrose food swap challenge would be a good way to change a few things around in the kitchen to see a) if the boys noticed b) to get them eating more vegetables and fruit and c) to cut down on their sugar intake, especially hubby.

Waitrose are challenging the Great British public to make some small changes to their diet in the hope that they will contribute to a healthier diet. Waitrose have suggested some meal and snack swaps that encourage families to eat more fruit and vegetables, to save on the calories they eat and help families get additional fibre and vitamins into their diet.

waitrose breakfast

Waitrose nutritionalist Nathalie Winn asked me for examples of what meals would feature on a regular list of weekly meals and offered us a list of swap suggestions to see if she could help to make our weekly diet a little more nutritious.

The swaps Nathalie suggested

- Try alternating between Weetabix and porridge for breakfast with a handful of fresh or frozen berries instead of toast and croissant – this will add additional fibre and a portion of your 5 a day.

– Try halving the amount of sugar you add to your hot drinks (or better still, not adding any) for just a week and see how you find it.

– Add two portions of fish to your week with at least one portion being oily e.g. salmon, mackerel, fresh tuna. A portion of fish is about 140g.

How we found the swaps

Hubby and Little Mr have swapped their usual weetabix for porridge this weekend with fresh strawberries and raspberries and I believe they enjoyed them. It’s nice to tuck into a bowl of warm porridge on a chilly Sunday morning.

I don’t have sugar in my hot drinks but I do have artificial sweetener in my tea. To try and reduce the amount of sweetener I have, I’ve tried drinking tea without any sweetener at all and it’s really odd. I haven’t enjoyed my tea without it being sweet so I’m not sure how I can drink it with nothing in it.

I really don’t like much fish so haven’t added any into my diet but I have given Little Mr fish for his evening meals this week and hubby has enjoyed more fish in his diet.

What swaps we’ll keep

Porridge on a weekend

Semi-skimmed milk for whole milk (apart from Little Mr who is still on full fat milk)

Reducing the sugar content in tea (both hubby and I)

There’s some brilliant ideas from Waitrose about how to change your diet. Even if it’s as simple as having wholemeal bread over white bread and choosing infused water over fruit juice. For more swap ideas, head over Waitrose and see where you could make some simple changes to help get a more balanced diet for you and all the family.

Disclaimer: We were given a voucher to spend at Waitrose for the purpose of this post. We spent our voucher online and bought a weeks worth of shopping to enable us to try out the swaps. 

Meal Planning Monday – 25th January 2015

mpm 3.11.2014

This week we’ve got another busy one ahead. Hubby has quite a few things on in the evenings so we’re planning quick evening meals that don’t take too much time to prepare and cook before he has to head off and leave us to enjoy our usual bedtime routine.

In our house, hubby and I like to eat about 6pm so as soon as we get home from work, whoever is home first will begin cooking. Little Mr usually eats about 5:30pm so we have between 5pm-7pm to get our dinner cooked before it’s time for Little Mr’s bath and bedtime.

Every Tuesday, I go to my local Slimming World group where I help out as a social team member. As group doesn’t finish until 9pm, I don’t eat my dinner until late. Usually hubby will cook my dinner whilst I’m out or we’ll take advantage of the slow cooker throughout the day to save time.

Here’s what’s up on the Shilton household menu planner this week

Speedy chicken and vegetable rice
Campfire stew
Cottage pie
Pasta bolognese
Zesty one pan chicken

There’s lots of chicken on the menu this week. We have quite a bit to use up in the freezer so we’re using that up this week but we do like it with our meals as it’s so versatile and Little Mr will eat it too so that’s a bonus!

I made a very yummy crustless quiche yesterday for lunch which I served with a side salad and pickles. I’m loving that I can just throw the ingredients together and 20 minutes later, a yummy quiche is made! Check out the recipe here if you want to make your own synfree SW friendly crustless quiche.


I’m basically pretending its a really yummy ham and pineapple pizza with proper cheese! I’m yearning after proper pizza at the moment but won’t give in until Little Mr’s birthday treat which is 3 weeks away. Hopefully I’ll be nearer my 3.5 stone loss by then, so I’ll stay focused until then at least!

I’m linking up with Mrs M’s Meal Planning Monday linky so if you want more foodie inspiration, head over and see what everyone else is eating this week. Have a good week everyone!


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