Growing up, my mom made ham and bean soup with cornbread on a weekly basis. She was the Queen of stretching a dollar, as she was a stay-at-home mom with 4 kids trying to feed 6 people on one income.
She would prepare a bone-in ham for Sunday dinner and use the leftovers for grilled ham and cheese sandwiches and ham and bean soup.
Mom made everything from scratch and insisted that the only way to avoid bland and boring ham and bean soup was to use dry beans (never canned!) and include the ham bone during the cooking process.
Nowadays, it's just my husband and me, so rather than purchase a bone-in ham, I usually buy a small boneless ham and a ham hock. Feel free to use whichever method works best for your family.
OLD FASHIONED HOMEMADE HAM AND BEAN SOUP
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bean Soak Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 3 hours
1 lb package dry White Beans
1/2 large White Onion, diced
2 medium Carrots, diced
2-3 medium stalks Celery, diced
6 cups Vegetable Broth
1/2 lb pre-cooked Ham, cut into bite-size chunks (Hickory, Smoked & Honey Ham are great choices)
3-4 large cloves Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried Parsley
1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
1 teaspoon Beau Monde Seasoning
1 teaspoon fine Pink Himalayan Salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
2 Bay leaves
1 medium Ham Hock
- In a colander, wash and drain beans and check for any residue or rocks.
- In a large stock pot, add beans and cover with water, about 2-inches above beans.
- Cook over high heat until boiling, then reduce to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 1 hour.
- Drain beans, place in a container and set aside.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable broth to stock pot and heat over medium high for 1-2 minutes.
- Add onion, celery and carrot and cook for 5-6 minutes; until onion becomes translucent.
- Add vegetable broth and remaining ingredients and stir.
- Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 2-1/2 to 3 hours; until beans are soft and tender.
- Remove ham hock from soup and scrape meat from bone, if desired.
- Transfer to individual soup bowls or mugs and serve immediately.
This recipe pairs well with Buttermilk Jalapeno Cornbread.