Ham and Bean SoupINGREDIENTS
1 lb dried white northern beans
ham leftovers, approx 1 lb
6 cups water
1/2 lb bacon
2 carrots, diced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups chicken stock
1 cup cream
white ground pepper
Prep time:6-8 hour bean soak, 15 minutes active prep, 60-90 minutes cooking time.
Place dried beans in 6 qt stock pot and cover with water to 2 inches above the beans, let sit 6-8 hours. Drain and rinse well, set aside.
Remove all meat from ham bone and cube, set aside.
Rinse stock pot and fill with 6 cups water, add ham bone and scraps/trimmings from meat. Bring to a boil and reduce to approx 4 cups. Strain ham stock and set aside.
In the same 6 qt stock pot, add bacon and render until crispy, remove bacon to a plate and break into small bits.
Add carrots and onions to bacon fat in pot and cook over medium low until slightly translucent, add garlic, cook until onions are just beginning to caramelize and then go for about another 30 seconds. You don't want them brown, but you want the caramelized flavor.
Add beans, ham, ham stock, chicken stock to the pot and cover, turn heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 hour, remove lid and simmer for additional 30 minutes.
Add white ground pepper and thyme to taste, add cream, stir well and simmer 5-10 minutes uncovered to thicken a bit.
Serve and sprinkle with crispy bacon bits.