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by on January 26th, 2015

White Bean Soup with Ham

Don’t you love having a leftover ham bone to cook!

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Ya, know what I love about buying a ham, baking it, glazing it, slicing it and eating it? Well, it’s the bone that is left over.

A couple of weeks ago we had dinner at a friend’s house and she made a great white bean soup. That got me thinking about a bean soup I use to make years ago; so I decided to dig out my old recipe, dust it off and use that ham bone for something other than just a pot of beans. For my recipe I use to add chopped fresh tomatoes but this time I added a can of Rotel and we really liked the results.

After any “ham holiday” I always wrap my bone (I leave a lot of meat on it) and throw it in the freezer. Then one day when I’m cleaning out my freezer I find this wonderful gift wrapped piece of meat.

Normally a ham bone always meant a pot of beans. But, many years ago I took a class where we made bean soup. Wow, I thought, something added to that pot of beans makes a delicious soup and this has become my favorite soup to make with a ham bone and I really think I like it better than just a plain old pot of beans.

I guess you could always throw a ham bone in a pot of split peas, lentils or even black eyed peas; but then you just have a pot of peas. What do you do with your leftover ham bone? And, I hope you don’t say I buy boneless.

Something wonderful you can also try is to drizzle your finished bowl of White Bean Soup with a little truffle oil. Serve this with some cornbread or a crusty loaf of Tuscan bread and you will be glad you tried a new recipe for your ham bone.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Honey Jalapeño Cornbread was posted back in June 2012 and you may like it to go with this bowl of soup.

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White Bean Soup with Ham

ham bone (I like to have a lot of ham left on it)
1-2 Tbsp. oil
1 onion, chopped (or use 4 Tbsp. dried onion)
2 carrots, peeled and small dice
3 ribs celery, sliced thinly
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 fresh bay leaves
3-4 sprigs of thyme
2-3 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary (or 1-2 tsp. dried)
1 lb. white beans
3 cans chicken stock
1 can Rotel tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

Either soak your beans over night in cool water or rinse the beans, put in a pot of cold water. Bring water to boil, then turn off and put lid on beans. Let set one hour then drain off water and add about 4-5 cups more water and bring the beans back to boil. Turn down to simmer and cook until beans are tender, about 2 hours.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in skillet. Add in the onion, carrot, and celery and saute for a few minutes until they start to brown slightly; add in the garlic and stir for a couple of minutes.

When the beans are almost tender, add in the cooked vegetables, bay leaves, thyme and rosemary. Also add in the chicken stock. By this time your bean water will probably be reduced down. If you need more chicken stock to get to the consistency you want, keeping adding another can as needed. Salt and pepper to taste. Continue cooking for another 45 minutes to an hour.

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