Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Homemade Ham and Bean Soup

Mmmm, soups really are my family's favorite food all winter.  I love how they are cheap, easy, and oh-so-delicious. 

We often buy spiral-sliced hams (we actually just bought two, they're on sale right now for Thanksgiving).  But after you eat all the slices, you're left with a bone and a bunch of scraps.  That's where this great recipe comes in.  You save the bone and scraps, and toss them in a stockpot.  Add some beans and veggies = super cheap and delicious dinner.
This soup takes about 4 hours total, but it's simmering for most of that time and you don't have to do anything.  I usually start this after lunch, and when dinnertime comes supper is ready and waiting!
What you need: for about 10 servings
  • 1 lb Great Northern Beans, soaked overnight or quick-soaked
  • 1 spiral sliced ham bone and scraps  (the assorted pieces that aren't neatly sliced)
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
Let's get cooking:
1. If you haven't soaked your beans, quick-soak them according to the package directions.
2. Meanwhile, in a large stockpot bring 8 cups water and your ham bone and pieces to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 1-2 hours.
3. Remove ham bone and fat from the broth.  Save any pieces of ham from the bone, then discard.  Cut any large chunks of ham into smaller pieces, then add back to the stockpot.
4.  Drain beans and add to the soup.  Add spices.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 1 hour.
5.  Add onions and carrots and simmer about 1 hour.

And that's it, five steps and your soup is ready :)
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