Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ham and Bean Soup

A simple dish, nothing spectacular, yet comforting at the same time. An excess of ham after Easter leads to a few days of ham omelets and ham sandwiches. As I get down to just the bone and just a bit of meat left, I start thinking of soups. This year I went with a white bean soup, simple and filling! This requires a bit of prep, which should start about 10 hours before you want the soup ready. If you start the night before it will be ready for lunch, if you want it for dinner, start first thing in the morning. I like to serve this with Buttermilk Skillet Cornbread. You probably won't need any salt, but if you use low-sodium chicken broth you may want to add a bit.

Ham and Bean Soup - Close Up

Ham and Bean Soup
INGREDIENTS
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
thyme
white ground pepper
salt

DIRECTIONS
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.
Ham and Bean Soup

4 comments:

~3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

YUMMY, grams always made this soup with cornbread when I was little. I haven't had it in years. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

Barbara said...

I'd be curious to know what her recipe was, my amounts are all sort of ball parks based on what I threw in, and my seasonings are always just to taste.

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

OT, but... I just saw your comment in 'The Things We Carried' blog... She was writing about a nutty bird, which wants "in" to her home.

You have one. We had one. But before her post, I'd never seen anyone else who had!

You said yours has been around for about a week. Seems ours was too, one Spring. It had no red color on it though, like hers has. Ours was all shades of gray. And we thought it was a Mockingbird.

Why it did it, we never found out. It banged its wings on windows, both upstairs and down, and I was ready to pull my hair out too. Like you sound ready to. Poor you and your family.

Can't give you any tips. He finally just stopped. -sigh- So I hope yours will too, and soon.

Maybe you'll come over to 'Aunt Amelia's Attic' blog and tell me, when he does go away. Which for your sake, I hope is very, very soon.

Gentle hugs,
'Aunt Amelia'

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

Zeeeeee Bird!!! ,-)

If yours had red, and Mere's has red, and mine did not - seems different birds are "driven" to do this nutty "banging to get in" thing. And I did notice that a couple of other of Mere's commenters, had it happen to them once upon a time. Weird hu? Perhaps we could start a little discussion of this weird effect, somehow?

Then again, we were soooooooo happy when it stopped, that none of us probably want to think about it - after it stops.

Yes, it was very upsetting to me, after a while. Plus, ding-dang bird woke up earlier than we did. And hearing it banging on some random window, at the 'crack of dawn,' was no fun either. You feel like you're under attack, from Nature. Kind of like that old flick 'The Birds.' Eeeeeek! :-)

My heart goes out to you, during this. And I really hope it stops soon. For whatever reason. Like I said, when it stops, we are so relieved, we want to forget it. -grin- But I'm still over in 'Aunt Amelia's Attic,' any time you want to vent. Mmmmm, would that be called "Bird Venting"? -giggles-

Sure! you are saying. _She_ can joke. _She_ doesn't have the bird attack going on now. -sigh-

Hugs,
'Aunt Amelia'
{Upper NYS}