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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Ham & Bean Soup - Guest Post!

Today is a special guest post from my Mom!  Enjoy!!

From my mom:
I make this so automatically I've never had to write it down before :)

Ham and Bean Soup!

What you need:

Big soup pot or Dutch oven
Big mixing or serving bowl to soak the beans in

1 ham bone  (usually left over from a family dinner where a regular or spiral ham has been served).  A good substitute is 2-3 large ham hocks.  Still confused; go to grocery store that has live people at the meat counter.
1 small bag of mixed DRY beans  (there are several good pre-mixed packages)  the package should be about a pound .
1 cup each of small chopped onion, celery, and carrots
Little oil to sauté the above veggies
Dry herbs such as basil, oregano, tarragon and 1 big bay leaf
Salt, pepper and water.

The night before you make the soup place the dry beans in a big bowl and cover with 6-7 cups of water.  Cover and sit on counter to soak overnight.

To make soup:

Put a little oil in soup pot or Dutch oven and sauté the 3 cups of chopped veggies for just a few minutes.  Add in any combination of dry herbs you like.  Place ham bone in pot with veggies and add water until the ham bone is completely covered.  Add bay leaf; bring to a boil; then reduce heat to keep the soup at a simmer.  Cover and simmer for about 1 to 1.5 hours.  (The meat left on ham bone should be easy to pull away at the right time.  Remove the ham bone from pot and place in a container to cool.  At this point drain the well-soaked beans and add them to the soup pot.  Again, soup back to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Let beans simmer away.  At any point if you have left over dry red or white wine—substitute it in for some of the water.  When the ham has cooled pull the meat away from the bone and add back into the soup.  From the point of adding the beans you will need a total of about 2 hours of cooking time as a minimum. 

Wait until shortly before serving to add salt and pepper……….and only after you have tasted the broth first.  Ham bones and hocks are smoked and cured so they are pretty salty to begin with so wait and taste first.

This soup is a Sunday project---but will provide enough for Sunday and Monday night supper.  PS:  if the soup is too thin for your liking—just add about ½ cup of instant potato flakes to the soup and stir in until dissolved. 

I hope you enjoy this soup as much as our family does!  

Always, J ♥