Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Ham and White Bean Soup

Hearty Ham and White Bean Soup
















This Hearty Ham and White Bean Soup is a healthy gluten free lunch or dinner option that puts your leftover holiday ham bone to good use.  If you made a ham during the holidays you were probably left with a perfectly good ham bone that I hope you didn't throw away.  The ham itself might not have been the healthiest dinner you ate all year but when you use the leftover ham mainly as a flavoring agent in the soup, it starts looking better.  The ham's reputation is certainly improved when it comes together with plenty of veggies and beans.  Some might even call it health food now.  And if you did throw away that bone, hopefully this recipe will have you inspired to hold onto the it next time.  Even if you don’t feel like making it right away, you can always toss it into a large Ziploc bag and pop it into the freezer for up to a month or more then make it when you’re ready. 

Ham and White Bean Soup
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 2 hours

Ingredients
  • 1 ham bone (with 2 cups of diced ham removed and set aside)
  • 1 lb dried great northern beans
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 large red skin potato, diced
  • salt & pepper to taste


Instructions
  1. For the "quick soak" method for the beans, in a large soup pot, cover the beans with 4 cups of water, bring the pot up to a boil and let it go for 5 minutes.  Turn off the pot, cover and let it stand for an hour. 
  2. Carve and dice all the ham that you’re able to salvage from this ham bone and set it aside. 
  3. Once the beans have finished soaking, drain and rinse them in a colander before returning them to the pot with 8-10 cups of fresh water or enough to almost cover the ham bone which should be added to the beans now. 
  4. Add the bay leaves, diced carrot, onion and garlic, and mustard then stir, bring up to a boil, reduce to a simmer for 1 ½ hours. 
  5. Once the soup has simmered for 1 ½ hours, remove the ham bone and bay leaves from the pot, add the diced ham and potatoes, taste it to see how much salt (close to 1 tbsp) and pepper (about ½ tsp) you want to add.
  6. Bring it to a boil then let it simmer for another ½ hour or so and serve.

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