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NORTHERN BEANS AND HAM SOUP

April 7, 2016

I made this today with a leftover ham and it was very good. Tiffany doesn’t have salt and pepper; I added a bit. There’s plenty of salt in the celery, chicken broth and ham; but when my husband tasted it, he thought it needed a little. I didn’t have any sage and only 1 tsp of Italian seasoning left which probably would have helped with flavor in place of the salt. My husband loves potatoes in ham and bean soup. I put in six large ones and he kiddingly complained it wasn’t enough. To get it done faster I cooked it on top of the stove, but it still took nearly three hours. The bean package said it would take 1-2 hours for the beans to cook to a soft consistency. Naturally, the beans took the full 2 hours just to annoy us with their aroma. I added the potatoes and let them cook until done. My husband checked the pot often. I think he was hoping the potatoes would cook faster if he stirred them every 5 minutes. I will definitely make this again.

While I’m typing this blog my husband brings me a boxed mix of brownies. I guess that’s a hint he wants some chocolate dessert. I set the eggs out to warm up a bit and will work on the brownies after I finish my blog. Our 47th wedding anniversary is on the 15th. We have chocolate cake for birthdays and anniversaries as well as various holidays, family and church socials. Brownies were a frequent snack when my sons were younger and easy to whip up. I have made more brownies and chocolate cakes over the years than I ever imagined. ~ Connie

NORTHERN BEANS AND HAM SOUP
from Don’t Waste the Crumbs blog
Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS
•    ½ pound dried northern beans, soaked overnight according to this method
•    2 Tbsp olive oil
•    ½ onion, diced
•    2 ribs celery, diced
•    2 medium carrots, diced
•    2 garlic cloves, minced
•    2 tsp Italian seasoning
•    ¼ tsp thyme
•    ¼ tsp sage
•    1 quart homemade chicken stock
•    1 ham hock (approx 2lbs)
•    1 cup chopped ham (optional, approx 1 ham steak)

INSTRUCTIONS
1    Drain soaking liquid from beans and set beans aside.
2    In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium. Add onion, celery, carrot and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.
3    Add cooked vegetables, beans and all other remaining ingredients to a slow cooker.
4    Cook on low for 6-8 hours, until beans are cooked through.
5    Serve over prepared white rice or cornbread.

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