Ham and Bean Soup

I recently found 2 recipes that I was greatly interested in that called for dried beans so I thought I would give it a try.  I had never used dried beans, so I figured it was time to go for it.

It’s certainly not difficult to use dry beans, it just takes a little planning.  Every recipe says to “soak beans overnight” and it wasn’t clear to me if that meant soak them overnight and ALL of the next day while I was at work, or if an 8 hour total soak was sufficient.  So after some googling, I determined that I would start the soaking time in the morning before work and then cook them that night.  It worked out great.

The soup’s flavor was very good, almost creamy from the texture of the beans.  Very hearty and filling too.

Ham and Bean Soup

Source:  adapted from Relish Magazine

Ingredients

  • 1  pound dried navy or great northern beans, rinsed and picked over
  • about 3/4 pound piece of ham
  • 2-1/2  quarts water
  • 1  tablespoon butter
  • 1  small onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 large celery rib, chopped
  • 1  teaspoon salt- I omitted
  • 1/4  teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Soak beans for 8 hours in water.
  2. Rinse and drain beans.  Combine them in a large pot with ham and water. Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, 1-1/2 hours or until beans are tender.  Stir occasionally and add more water as necessary.
  3. Remove ham; when cool, remove and discard skin, bone and fat. Cut meat into small pieces and return to soup.
  4. In a medium skillet, melt butter. Add onion, carrot, and celery and sauté until lightly browned.  Add to soup along with salt {if using} and pepper and stir, pressing down with the back of a large spoon to break up some of the beans and thicken soup.

Serves 6

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