Monday, December 27, 2010
Ham & Bean Soup
I hope you had ham for Christmas, and I hope you have a little left and saved the bone. You'll be so glad you did.
I love this soup, it is seriously comfort in a bowl. It's rich, creamy, and full of ham flavor. It makes an amazing Monday night supper when the temperature drops and there's nothing to do but curl up and keep warm.
This past Thanksgiving I begged my mom to make her out out of this world apricot ham. We devoured it and I took home the prize- I mean the ham bone, along with some leftover sliced ham and lots of other odds and ends. I think we had a few plates of leftovers before I decided the ham had to go. I couldn't tolerate another ham headache*, and froze the slices that were left along with the ham bone.
*does anyone else get these? Headaches from eating ham? My grandmother has them too apparently.
A few weeks later I was craving ham again and pulled out the bone and leftover meat and set it in the fridge to thaw. The next day I whipped up this fantastic soup, its one I look forward to each winter.
Ham & Bean Soup
1 leftover ham bone, about 2 1/2 lbs
leftover sliced ham, cubed
4 stalks celery, diced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
7 c cooked beans, I had a mix of cannellini, great northern, and butter beans
(1 19oz. can cannellini, 2 15oz. cans great northern, and 2 15oz. cans butter beans, drained)
1 29oz. can cream of celery soup
2 c milk
1 tsp. ham base*
pepper to taste
*I have not been able to find this in grocery stores, my uncle kindly ordered me a huge jar from the restaurant supplier they use, its wonderful! You may try Amazon for a similar product, but they do not have the brand I was given.
Take the ham bone and remove as much of the meat at possible, mine had a few cupfuls left clinging to the bone. Cube the ham and set aside, you will need about 4-5 cups.
Add 2-3 tablespoons of oil to a large stock pot on a medium heat. Add the ham bone and turn a few times to brown the remaining fat on the bone. Toss in the celery, onion, and garlic and cook until soft and fragrant. Add 6 cups of water, cover with a lid and boil for 20 minutes to make a quick stock.
Add the cubed ham, beans, soup, milk, ham base, and pepper to taste. You will likely not need any salt. Simmer over medium low heat about 30 minutes. Remove the ham bone, serve with crusty bread, crackers, or skillet cornbread.