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Ham and Bean Soup

Ham & Bean Soup

Salty ham, creamy white beans, colorful veggies combine to form the cast this hearty soup. It is, however, the apple that is the director of this show ... the one that makes sure everyone else gets the credit while quietly balancing out the whole performance. An exaggeration? Not if you have ever made this soup without the star.
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr
Servings 3 quarts

Ingredients
  

  • Ham bone, "ugly" pieces and drippings see note below
  • 1 cup dry navy beans rinsed
  • 2-3 quarts water enough to cover the bone and ham pieces
  • 1 Jonathon/Fuji/Gala apple cored and quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon course-ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • In a large stock pot, combine first four ingredients and one bay leaf. If there isn't much meat left on the bone, add a few more pieces from the leftovers (enough to end up with about 2 cups of diced ham pieces). Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 60-90 minutes or until beans are tender (see note below).
  • While the ham and beans cook, the apple will disintegrate, leaving only the peel. When beans are tender, remove from heat and discard apple peels.
  • Remove ham pieces and bone from soup. When cool enough to handle, pull ham off of bone. Shred or cut ham chunks into bite-sized pieces and return, along with the bone, to the soup.
  • In a second pan, combine second bay leaf, carrots, celery, onion, bay leaf, salt, pepper and just enough water to cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil; simmer 15-20 minutes or until carrots are tender. Add vegetables and the broth to the stock pot.
  • Allow to cool and refrigerate overnight. Remove bay leaves before serving.

Notes

Ham Note: As mentioned in the post, this recipe is written for the wonderful leftovers and "scraps" from cooking a bone-in ham. A center-cut ham steak (with bone) can be substituted for the ham bone. Look for one that is at least one pound.
TIP: Soup tastes better when it has rested for at least one day. This is a must for this soup.
TIP: When you test the beans to make sure they are tender, test more than one. Some will cook a little faster than others.