Yummy Ham and Bean Soup

Growing up, after every nearly every holiday dinner that included a spiral-cut ham, my father made ham and bean soup. Like the turkey salad he made from the last dregs of turkey leftover from Thanksgiving dinner, it was one of those fixtures of childhood that was unique to my dad.

I cooked a spiral ham for Christmas day, in part with the anticipation of turning the ham bone and some of the leftovers into a lovely warming soup. As soon as the excess meat was trimmed off, into the freezer it went until a free afternoon.

There’s something soothing about making homemade soup. Simmering on the back burner, lovely scents wafting through the house, nothing is rushed. Soup takes time, and I had it.

When we sat down to eat, the scent and taste of the soup took me right back to my parents kitchen and I made a comment about how much it reminded me of Papa’s soup.  I don’t have my dad’s recipe (as I’m sure his is like mine – written on a scrap of paper, and likely not quite followed to the “T” every year) but this is how I imagined he would make his.

bean soup

 

I start with dry beans, always. While you can soak beans overnight, I prefer to “power soak” beans, which is faster (and better breaks down complex sugars which can often make beans hard to digest – yes, you know what I mean).

Pick through 1 lb of dried white northern (or cannellini) beans, discarding any broken ones and any stones. Place in the cooking pot and cover with three inches of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for two minutes, then remove from heat. Cover and let stand for one hour. Drain, and set aside.

Place the ham bone (or two ham hocks, if you don’t have a leftover ham bone) and water in a heavy bottomed pot (I use a dutch oven) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer, uncovered, for one hour.

Add in the soaked beans, thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Return to a simmer, stirring occasionally and skimming with a spoon as necessary, until beans are tender but not fully done – about 1 hour.

Add 1 cup each diced carrots, celery, onion (and potatoes if desired – I did, not that I need more starch) to the pot and return to a simmer. Stir occasionally and cook until vegetables are tender and meat is falling off of the bone, about 40-50 minutes more.

Remove ham bone and place on a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones, discarding any fat or bone. Loosely chop any larger pieces.

For a slightly thicker consistency, I like to gently mash about half the beans in the pot. Add in the meat removed from the bone as well as the diced meat set aside, stirring to rewarm. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve up with some crusty bread (yay, carbs!) and a simple salad.

bean soup

And of course, the flavors will only improve overnight in the refrigerator – and you will have enough for leftovers.

 

Ham & Bean Soup

Ham & Bean Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried northern beans or cannellini beans, soaked*
  • 2 quarts water
  • I meaty leftover ham bone (or 2 ham hocks)
  • 2-3 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 medium carrots, medium dice
  • 2 celery stalks, medium dice
  • 1 medium yellow onion, medium dice
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 cups small white potatoes, medium-diced
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked leftover ham, medium-diced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. While you can soak beans overnight, I prefer to "power soak" beans, which is faster (and better breaks down complex sugars which can often make beans hard to digest): pick through beans, discarding any broken ones and any stones. Place in the cooking pot and cover with three inches of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for two minutes, then remove from heat. Cover and let stand for one hour. Drain, and set aside.
  2. Place the ham bone and water in a heavy bottomed pot (I use a dutch oven) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer, uncovered, for one hour.
  3. Add to the ham bone in the pan: soaked beans, thyme and bay leaves. Return to a simmer, stirring occasionally and skimming with a spoon as necessary, until beans are tender but not fully done - about 1 hour.
  4. Add diced carrots, celery, onion and potatoes to the pot and return to a simmer. Stir occasionally and cook until vegetables are tender and meat is falling off of the bone, about 40-50 minutes more.
  5. Remove ham bone and place on a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones, discarding any fat or bone. Loosely chop any larger pieces.
  6. For a slightly thicker consistency, I like to gently mash about half the beans in the pot. Add in the meat removed from the bone as well as the diced meat set aside, stirring to rewarm. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaves and thyme stalks before serving.
  7. And of course, the flavors will only improve the longer this is in the refrigerator!
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
https://www.mommaontherocks.com/4145/ham-bean-soup

 

 

Comments

  1. Gmom Phyl says:

    Awesome!!

join the conversation

*

CommentLuv badge