Ham & Bean Soup Recipe – Comfort Food at its Finest!

Ah, ham and bean soup has always been one of my favorites. So, what do I do when I have a leftover hambone and ham to use? I make soup.

My grandmother makes the best ham and beans, and I consider this to be one of my top 5 foods. She always made it a point to get me a container full of ham and beans whenever she made them. And, if she wasn’t able to get them to me, I could guarantee that she would have a container of soup in her freezer just waiting for me to stop by and eat them. The last time she sent me some ham and beans they were the BEST beans I had ever had. The recipe was different, but still had a lot of the same flavors that I remembered. I called her later to thank her for the ham and beans, and she informed me that she hadn’t made them; my uncle had made them for her and she had put them in her freezer to eat later. She gave me the wrong soup! Then I felt bad for saying that they were some of the best ham and beans I had ever eaten. Oh well.

I never realized how vastly different the recipes are for this dish. There are so many different ways to prepare ham and beans. Some call for sausage, and some call for navy beans. Some call for vegetables and others have none like my grandma’s. So, I decided to create my own recipe based on what sounded good to me. The soup was really good. I had prepared my recipe ahead of time, but completely changed it as I was making it. I was tired of being in the kitchen, so I threw everything in the crockpot at 8am, and we finally ate around 6:30.

I made the mistake of checking the beans too early in the cooking process, and I freaked out because the beans were still hard. I started looking on the Internet and assumed that the beans were going to stay hard because I had salted them in the beginning instead of waiting until the end. I immediately grabbed another bag of beans out of the pantry and used the “quick soak” method so they would be ready to replace the hardened beans in a couple of hours. Well, after another 2 hours in the crockpot, the original beans were finally soft. DANG…now I had a whole pot of beans and no where to use them. So, I used them anyway. I mashed half of the new beans and added them to the crockpot, and then I added the rest of them to the soup that was left after we finished eating. It all worked out just fine. I guess I need to learn to be more patient.

Grab out your crockpot and make some comfort food!

Cheri’s Ham and Bean Soup
By: The Accidental Cook

1 lb. dried Great Northern Beans
1 meaty hambone + additional cooked ham to add as needed
4 cups water
4 cups chicken broth/stock
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Bay leaf
1 cup celery (finely chopped)
1 cup onion (diced)
1/2 cup carrots (chopped)
Salt – to taste just prior to serving

Place beans in large bowl. Remove any “ugly” beans or shells. Cover with water and let soak 8 hours or overnight.

Drain beans and then put them into a large crockpot. Add ham bone, water, broth, brown sugar, garlic powder, pepper bay leaf, celery, onion and carrots. Cook on low for 10 hour checking beans to ensure they are getting soft.

Once beans are soft, remove the hambone, cut off any meat, and discard bone. Spoon out 3/4 cup of cooked beans and mash with a potato masher or food processor. Return mashed beans and ham to crockpot and stir.

Warm for another 15 minutes, remove bay leaf and serve with your favorite cornbread recipe.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Homemade Cornbread Recipe – Delicious AND gluten-free « The Accidental Cook
  2. Jeanette
    Sep 21, 2011 @ 20:40:30

    Now that is a bowl of comfort!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: