So do you like ham and bean soup?
We like it just fine in our house.
I wish I could make it like my mom did for us when we were young. Oh, it was so thick and delicious. I guess it’s her special “mother magic” that makes my attempts at replication elusive. Maybe my kids will say, “Oh, mom’s bean soup was so good!” Counting on that. So I’m not going to let them near a pot of their Wawa B’s soup.
This is the way I make it. Basic and comforting. There are no measurements as you just add the amount of vegetables and beans as your needs and taste demand. This “recipe” is just a basic guideline. I used smoked ham hocks from my sister’s farm. So this will obviously make mine more wonderful than yours. Sorry. Also, I use canned beans. It’s just something I do. But, by all means, if you typically use dried beans in soup, go for it. This soup tastes better the day after you make it. So this would be a good make-the-day-ahead-and-reheat-the-next-day soup. It’s amazing the words you can connect with dashes! And one last thing – If you have little ones, who can be trusted under very very close supervision, give them a toothpick to use to eat the soup – my kids love to eat this soup using a toothpick. It’s always more fun when you can stab your food! Plus, it has proved a good trick to get them to eat some foods they normally wouldn’t want to.
Ham and Bean Soup
Throw a couple of smoked ham hocks in a pot. Cover them with water. Get that to a boil. Put the lid on. Turn the heat to low. Simmer for 2-3 or more hours. Strain the broth, removing the meat and bones. Pour the broth back into your pot. Add peeled, bite-size chunks of potatoes and peeled, chopped bits of carrots. Add some chopped onions (I throw the chopped onions with a bit of water into my Magic Bullet and puree them, as Mr. H is not fond of onion chunks). Turn heat to med-hi and cook till the vegetables are tender. Meanwhile, pick the ham off the bones. Once the vegetables are tender, add the meat back in and turn the heat down to low again. Season with whatever spices please you – thyme or rosemary would be nice. I usually just add some black pepper, a little garlic powder and some parsley for color. Then pour in some cans of Great Northern Beans. I do not drain or rinse the beans. Let that simmer just a bit on low, so the beans are warmed and the flavors meld a bit.
Serve. Eat. Be happy.