Friday, January 1, 2010

Ham & Bean Soup

This is a tried and true recipe that I make several times a year, usually a few days after we've had a big ham for dinner! It's just good and warming and comforting and delicious. Be sure to start it ahead of time, because you never know how truly fresh your beans are (and how long they will take to cook!) I nearly always double the recipe, and I always add carrots to the mix.

It comes from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. There are many, many editions of this cookbook, mine was published in 1996, and it is an indispensable resource for basic recipes and tips.

**picture tomorrow, the beans aren't done yet!**

Ham & Bean Soup
Prep: 20 minutes
Soak: 1 hour
Cook: 1 1/4 hours
Makes about 8 cups (5 main-dish servings)

1 cup dry navy beans (or any small, white bean)
1 to 1 1/2 pounds meaty smoked pork hocks or one 1- to 1 1/2-pound meaty ham bone
1 1/2 cups diced celery (3 stalks)
about two carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup chopped onion (1 large)
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf

1. Rinse beans. In a large saucepan combine beans and 4 cups water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. (Or, place beans in water in pan. Cover and let soak in a cool place for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.) Drain and rinse beans.

2. In the same pan combine beans, pork hocks or ham bone, celery, carrots, onion, thyme, pepper, bay leaf and 4 cups fresh water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 1 hour or till beans are tender. Remove meat. When cool enough to handle, cut meat off bones; coarsely chop meat. Discard bones and bay leaf. Slightly mash beans in saucepan. Return meat to saucepan. Heat through.


A Year on the Grill said...

It's New years day... My sainted Grandmother always started the year with Black eyed peas (almost beans) for good luck... yours looks much better than hers ever did

Min said...

I can't say that I've ever liked black eyed peas (unless they were playing music...)

Happy New Year!

~3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

LOL both you and Dave! I'm over here playing catch up. My post next Sunday is for my navy bean and ham soup, but yours sounds more like grams always made - thanks for the memories!

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