For various reasons, I haven’t been doing too many Souper Saturdays this year, and I kind of miss it. That’s not to say we haven’t had any soup…recently I made a big pot of ham and bean that was so good, I decided to share.
Ham and beans are a comfort food to me; my mom used to make it when I was growing up, but thick and not soupy. I had never tried it myself until a couple of years ago. I had a ham bone in the freezer and used this Basic Ham and Bean Soup recipe, with a few tweaks and great success.
This time around I had another ham bone in the freezer from a spiral ham we had back in the fall. Basically, I considered that free, since it was inedible on its own. A 2lb bag of Great Northern beans at Aldi is $2; I used 1/2 of that for this recipe. So even including pantry items like onions and seasonings, it cost under $2 for a huge pot of soup that fed the five of us supper, plus several individual lunches. Economical, delicious, and super easy…that’s a keeper!
The night before rinse a pound of dried white beans, then cover with water and let soak overnight. In the morning, drain and put in the crockpot. Cover with water, or with a combination of water and chicken broth. Add the ham bone, chopped onion, chopped carrot, chopped celery, 1 tsp minced garlic, 1 tsp mustard powder, and a couple of bay leaves. Turn the crockpot on low and get on with your day.
Later in the afternoon, the meat should be falling off the bone. Take out the bone and remove the meat, chop it up and put it back in the pot. If there is fat, skim off as much as you can. Depending on how thick you like it, you may need to add more water or broth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. That’s it!
Serve with cornbread and a salad—yum! Even the kids rated it at 8 to 9 out of 10.