I made this delicious soup the other day with the leftover ham bone and ham from Christmas. I was so excited to make it and then we had a sudden change in weather so we were enjoying bean soup after a chilly winter 89* day degrees! Crazy!
What I really liked about this soup was how creamy it tasted – but there wasn’t anything creamy in it. I’m not sure if it was just the beans or how they were cooked or what, but it was amazing and so easy!
Navy Bean Soup with Ham
Ingredients and directions:
2 lb of dried white beans, I used navy beans
6-8 cups of water
1-2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 -5 carrots, peeled and diced in large pieces
5 stalks of celery, diced
2 -3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 ham hock, extra fat remove from the outside of the hock
4 cups of chicken stock, low sodium
2- 4 cups of water
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Overnight Soak: Rinse and sort the beans. Add 6-8 cups of cold water to dried beans. Let stand overnight or at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse the beans. Side Note: If you don’t have time to do an overnight soak, try the quick soak method: Rinse and sort the beans. Add 6-8 cups of water to dried beans. Bring water to a boil, boil for 2 minutes, remove from heat; cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse the beans.
I did the quick soak method and I didn’t let the beans stand for an hour – maybe 30 minutes while I got the rest of the ingredients ready.
Heat the olive oil in the pot you soaked the beans in – why make extra dishes? Add onions, carrots, & celery. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for a bit. Now it’s time to get everything into the crockpot. Start with the ham hock, I would recommend removing any visible fat. Then pour the soaked and drained beans in. Next add the veggies that you had cooking, pour in the chicken broth, Italian seasoning, sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Finally add a bit more water to make sure everything is covered. I completely filled my big crockpot. Cover and cook on high for several hours to get everything bubbling along. I turned it down to low after about 4 hours. It’s better to not open the crockpot a lot while cooking, since all the heat escapes, but I would suggest stirring from time to time and try to remove the ham bits from the bone while stirring. About an hour before serving I removed the entire ham bone from the soup and let it cool a bit and removed any additional meat from the bone. I then removed the excess fat from the top of the soup, there was just a bit that I ladled off. I fished around in the soup for any excess bone bits, large pieces of meat, fat etc. Finally I added some cut up leftover ham to the soup and tasted it to see if it needed any additional seasoning. Let ham pieces heat through. We served our soup with bread and salad.
It sounds a bit labor intensive, but I promise it’s not! The soup would have been hearty and delicious without the extra ham pieces, but I had the leftovers and wanted to make it extra chunky. I’m not sure why I felt the need to sauté the veggies first. I’m sure it would have been delicious if everything was just dumped into the crockpot.