This surprisingly savory and delicious soup can be seasoned with cayenne pepper or herbs to taste, but is excellent plain as well. It's a really delicious way to put more carrots and other goodies into the diet.
1 ham bone with some meat, or 1 ham hock
The vegetables and ham should be cut into a small dice, about 3/8" to 1/2" cubes. (The smaller the children or the pickier the eaters, the smaller the cubes should be.) Dice the meat and add to broth.
Heat olive oil in a heavy soup pot. Sauté diced ham and vegetables until onion becomes transparent.
Scrape, trim and dice carrots. Add to pot. Sauté and stir for 5 minutes. Add diced tomatoes and continue to sauté another 5 minutes, stirring often.
Add ham broth and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. If you wish to add any other herbs or other seasonings, do it now. Simmer until carrots are tender.
Add diced potatoes and zucchini, plus the minced garlic. Simmer until potato cubes are tender. Taste and correct for salt and black pepper if desired.
Serve with crusty bread or croutons.
Note: While you can make this soup nearly fat free, we don't suggest it. In any case, the oil helps you utilize the antioxidants in the carrots, garlic and other veggies.
Note #2: Incidentally, adding the lemon juice at the beginning helps leach calcium out of the bones and into the broth. If the tomatoes are very acid, you may need to add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Enjoy!