Friday, October 12, 2012

Ham and Bean Soup

Again, as I wander through old picture files, I find a picture for a recipe that I never posted. It is like a game now for me, hide and go seek with pictures! I can't believe I didn't post this soup before. It is one of my favorite soups. This just screams cool fall evening, or winter night curled up by the fire. It really is a soup that puts my tummy in a happy place. Maybe it is because it is one of the first things I ever learned to cook from scratch, I don't know. I know I used to love having the soup simmering for a few hours, it made me feel like a real cook. I do know I love it and so does my family!!

I use dried beans for this #1 because that is the way my Ex's Mom showed me how to make soup, and #2 because I think it just gives the soup much more time to develop flavors. But you can easily use canned beans if you want to speed up the meal. You could also do this in a slow cooker. Just add the soaked beans with the other ingredients and set it on low if you need it to cook all days while you are at work.

I am so glad that it is soup weather again!! The stews, the chowders...mmmmm so many possibilities. That is the good thing about living in the Pacific Northwest. I have plenty of soup weather here! Although I am having a tough time teaching Kevin that it is OK to have soup for dinner. 

Kevin - What's for dinner?
Me - (whatever kind it is) soup.
Kevin - What else?
Me - That's it.
Kevin - You're joking right?
Me - (looking in pot) Nope, I am pretty sure I am making soup.
Kevin - (looking in pot) Where's the meat?
Me - In the fridge.
Kevin - (blank stare)
Me - You can have a ham sandwich or something to go with the soup.
Kevin - (shaking head and walking away mumbling) How can you have a meal without meat?

My poor carnivore, I feel bad for him.....not really.....well maybe just a little. 

Ham and Bean Soup

8 cups of *chicken stock, plus a bit extra to thin soup if needed (can sub water)
1 pound great northern beans (soaked overnight and drained)
1 large ham steak, cubed
1 onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring chicken stock and beans to a boil. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand at least 1 hour, to overnight (I prefer overnight if possible).

Stir in ham, onion, bay leaf, carrot, celery, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, (skimming foam from top as needed), about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until beans are tender. If soup is too thick, add a more chicken stock. If you like your soup "creamy" use a potato masher to mash up a few f the beans.

Serve with fresh baked corn bread.


* Link is for a tutorial on how to make homemade chicken stock if you prefer homemade.


  1. Great soup. The new Food on Friday is all about soup. It would be wonderful if you linked this in. Here's the link . Have a souper duper week!

    1. Thanks so much for the invite!! :)

  2. I have that same conversation. The man in my house insists he hates soup but he LOVES stew. So we have to put meat in everything and just give him very little broth.

    Also, this soup looks delicious.

    Erin -

    1. It's funny what we try to do to keep them happy :)

  3. Great that you linked in, thanks. have a good one

  4. Another delicious dish and I am a sucker for a good ham and bean soup! I'm so glad you decided to make this with dried beans instead of the canned variety... Thanks for again for sharing with Made with Love Mondays - unfortunately, premade ingredients like chicken stock are not permitted by the challenge guidelines. If you use homemade chicken stock, can you include the recipe within this post or link to the recipe you used? Thanks so much...

    1. Oh I am sorry about that. I will include a link to a tutorial on how to make homemade chicken stock, or you can substitute water for the chicken stock and it still comes out flavorful. I just like the addition of the chicken stock.

    2. Thanks so much for making the change, Bobbi - I'm so glad I will be able to include this in Made with Love Mondays! I hope you'll be able to participate again in the future...

    3. Thank you so very much for the feature!!!