If you have just had a big ham dinner don’t throw that ham bone away…..make Soup!!
Ham and Bean Soup
Things You'll Need:
- 1 pound dry beans (Navy or Great Northern)
- 8 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 ham bone, with some meat on it
- 1/2 pound carrots, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups chopped ham
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper (black or white)
Rinse the beans under cold water. This is best done in a Colander or a strainer so that you can sit the beans under running water while you sort through them. Remove any discolored beans, shriveled beans, or anything that is not a bean (sometimes natural things like rocks or sticks will get in the bag). Some people will tell you to take out any broken beans, too, but I have never done this. Keeping more beans in the pot means more bites to eat later!Put 8 cups of water into a large pot and bring the water to boil over high heat. When the water is boiled, add a pinch of salt (about 1/2 teaspoon at most) and the rinsed beans to the boiling water. Stir and quickly take the pot off the heat. Cover and let sit for 60 minutes or a little longer.
After the beans have finished soaking, put the rest of the ingredients in the pot: the ham bone, the vegetables, and the seasonings (hold off on the pepper for later). Make sure that the ham bone is as fully submerged as possible. You can add a little more water at this point if you want, but I wouldn't add more than a cup or two.Bring the pot back to a boil, stirring well. After it is boiling nicely, adjust the heat to low-to-medium-low (depending on your stovetop). You want the soup to simmer gently for another 60 minutes.Remove the ham bone from the pot and carve the remaining meat off of the bone. It will come off easier now that it has been cooking for a while. Dice up the meat and add it to the meat you are going to put in the soup. Throw the bone away!
Stir your cut up ham into the soup and let the soup simmer for about another 30 minutes - or until the ham is heated through. If you are in a hurry you could cut this time in half.
Give the soup a taste! Does it need a little pepper? Add a few shakes of pepper and then try it again and see what you think. Or, you can let people add their own pepper at the table if you are feeding people with lots of different tastes.
Remove the bay leaves from the soup and discard. Whole bay leaves can cause problems because they are very sharp - you don't want someone to ingest it by mistake.
Serve and Enjoy! This soup is great with homemade biscuits, bread, or a side salad.