Thursday, May 26, 2005


Much Better Ham and Bean Soup

This is a hearty ham and bean soup. Easy to make and a perfect way to use that left over ham bone. In addition it has lots of vegetables. (Not veggies! Thats a disgusting word.) Prep time about 30 minutes. Cook time about 2 hours 30 minutes or until you can't stand to wait any longer. Makes 4 - 16 bowls-full depending upon the size of the bowl.

1 pound dry Great Northern Beans. You can use the pound package of 15 bean soup. It has that nice flavor packet included.
8 Cups of water. I use some Ham Base with the water.
1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste. Depends on the ham bone.
1 ham bone or hock
1 Cup chopped carrots. Good job for the food processor.
1 Stalk of celery, chopped. Put it in with the carrots above.
1 Cup chopped onions. You know what to do now.
1 teaspoon minced garlic. More if your social life is on hold for a while.
1 teaspoon mustard powder.
2 Bay leaves. Remember to take them out at the end. Bean soup should not crunch.
2 Cups of chopped ham. Some will be left from the ham bone. Add more!
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper. Same as black but you can't see the specks.


1. Rinse the beans, sorting out any broken or discolored ones. Sometimes stones are found. Put the water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add beans and salt. Wait on the ham base if using. Put it in at the end. Remove from heat. Let the beans sit in the water at least 60 minutes but better if beans soak all night.

2. After the soaking, return to high heat and add the ham bone (hock), carrots, celery, onion, garlic, mustard and bay leaves. Stir well and simmer for 60 more minutes.

3. Remove ham bone and discard. Maybe Rover would like to chew on it for a while. Stir in chopped ham and ham base if using. Check seasoning. Did you remember the bay leaves? Add the white pepper. Done.


I like to take about 1/4 of the beans out of the pot at the end and mash them and return them to the pot. Thickens the soup a bit.

The soup gets better as time goes on.
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