Winter's chill makes me want to curl up in my warm jammies, with a fuzzy blanket, and a big bowl of this Hearty Ham and Bean Soup. Guaranteed warm you from head to toe!
When Winter hits all I can dream about is comfort foods. Well, that and a warm tropical beach somewhere. But since I can't do anything about the latter, I tend to focus on the former. Plus, I am a food blogger, so food? Pretty much my thing.
Lately that comfort food has been coming in big steaming hot bowls of soup. Aaahhh yes, soup, glorious soup. One of the things that makes living in the Pacific Northwest awesome. It was kind of hard to get into a soupy mood living in San Diego where it is 70 to 80 degrees outside.
Now that I live in the PNW, soup weather is here for at least 6 months out of the year. At least in my mind it is. I mean, if it is below 60, I am game for some soup, stew, or chili. Bring it on!
Kevin kind of fought me on this whole soupy situation, which I don't understand seeing as how he grew up here. I would think he would have soup coursing through his veins!
But now he has finally come around to my side of thinking and even looks forward to my ladleable creations almost as much as I do. He especially loves it when they are as hearty as this!
One of the things I learned, living in the south for a bit, was that cooking with dry beans adds waaaaaaaaaaay more flavor than their canned cousins. Not that I have anything against the canned variety. Lord knows I have about 8 cans of various types in my pantry as we speak. There is not always time to soak beans over night, or cook soup for several hours, and this recipe could always be made with canned beans if needed.
But if you have the time, cook from dried beans, let them simmer away for a few hours. The thick broth that happens just makes it, well it just makes it super dang good, and now I am drooling as I type!
This is one of those recipes that I make a full batch of (or even double!), even though it is just Kevin and I. Once the leftovers have cooled completely I use quart sized zipper-top freezer bags. Scoop in about 4 ladle fulls (enough for two servings for us), squeeze out the air and lay them flat in the freezer. Once frozen, you can stack them up in your freezer to conserve on space. When you want some soup for dinner pop a bag in warm water and you are enjoying a bowl of this Hearty Ham and Bean Soup in no time!
Oh, don't be like me, remember to label the bags with the name and date. That way you don't have to play "Guess That Leftover" like we did a few times!!
1 year ago - Chili con Queso
2 years ago - BLT (Bacon, Leek, and Tomato) Quiche
3 years ago - Slow Cooker Roast Beef and Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Hearty Ham and Bean Soup
- 1 pound dry northern or navy beans, picked clean
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 oinion, chopped
- 3 carrots, diced small
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 heaping teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 4 cups water
- 1 leftover ham bone (can sub store bought ham hock)
- 2 bay leaves
- Kosher salt
- Fresh cracked black pepper
- Place the dried beans in a large dutch oven and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to stand, covered, at room temperature for 1 hour. Drain the beans and return the empty pot to the stove.
- Add the olive oil to the pot and heat over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic to the pot, cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the lid and add the beans, dried thyme, 4 cups chicken stock, 4 cups water, ham bone, chopped ham, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover and for 2 1/2 hours. Discard the ham bone and bay leaves.
Prep Time: 01 hrs. 15 mins.
Total time: 3 hrs. 50 mins.
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