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Ham and Bean Soup with Garlic Butter Toppers (02.21.12)

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2 medium carrots, diced1 small onion, chopped2 tablespoons olive oil or butter2 1/4 cups stock or water2 (15.5 ounce) cans great northern beans, rinsed and drained1 1/2 cups cubed fully cooked ham1/2 teaspoon onion powder1/2 teaspoon garlic powder1 bay leafSalt and Pepper, to taste
In a large soup pot, sauté the carrots and onion in oil or butter. Stir in the water or stock, ham, onion and garlic powder, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes. Discard bay leaf before serving.

Garlic Butter Toppers
2 English muffins, sliced in half2 teaspoons butter1 clove of garlicSalt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread ½ teaspoon of butter on each half; add pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Spread the garlic clove over each half as soon as removed from the heat. Discard garlic clove.