Soup Weather

14 Jan

Bean Soup W/Holiday Ham

 

It’s cold and snowy outside.  Perfect soup weather.

And…I’ve got just the right soup for the occasion. My homemade bean soup which I always make shortly after Christmas, in an effort to use up the leftover ham bone. Perfect for making such a soup.

Here’s what I used:

1 ham bone, or a couple of store-bought ham hocks.

2 lbs. dried navy or other white bean (using the “quick” cook method noted on the bag)

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

2 med. sized carrots, finely chopped

1/2 stick butter (to saute chopped veggies)

garlic salt

salt

pepper

dried thyme, if like (I like, but didn’t have.)

First of all, check your bag instructions. Mine said to use 6 – 8 cups cold water per 1 lb. beans. Since I used the whole 2 lb. bag, I doubled it, using the higher limit (total 16 cups). Using the quick method, you’ll rinse the beans, first in a colander, picking out the bad ones, and then pour beans into stockpot. Pour water over the beans. Cook according to directions, which was to bring to boil and boil for 2 minutes, then turn off stove and let stand, covered, for one hour.

After the hour of standing (the pot, not you), drain beans into colander, then place the ham bone or ham hocks into bottom of pot, pour beans over them, and then add new, cold water, according to instructions, which for me was: 6 cups for 1 1b.; so I doubled that to 12 cups, plus added 1 more cup, since it’s been my experience that you’ll need more water, eventually, once the soup cooks down, and the next day brings an even thicker soup, otherwise.

Okay. Once you’ve poured fresh water into the pot of ham bone/hocks and beans, add a bit of garlic salt (1 T), cover, and return to stove and cook on simmer for another 2 hours. In the last hour, or slightly less, chop your veggies. Melt butter in large saute pan and place your veggies in and add garlic salt and pepper, sauteeing until the onions and celery are transluscent and the carrots begin to soften slightly. (You could add a bit of dried thyme at this point, if you like.) Once done, set aside to cool, while you fish for the ham bone/hocks.

With tongs, pull out the ham bone/hocks and place on a cutting board. Pull away any ham you can manage and discard the bone/fat, etc. Finely chop ham and return to soup. Add in the cooked veggies. Stir gently. Taste. Add some salt (not garlic, just regular stuff) and more pepper to taste. Check your soup. It may be ready a bit sooner. You’ll know, when the beans have softened and the broth has thickened a bit.

And, that’s really all there is to making a great pot of bean soup.

Perfect soup for a lovely snowy day.

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