Happy New Year to my all friends out there. However you decide to celebrate, I hope your New Year is full of love, laughter, joy, and an abundance of good food.
Ham and Bean Soup is the perfect way to use up that leftover Christmas or New Year’s ham. It’s hearty and warms your soul on a cold day. Serve it with some warm crusty bread and a side salad for a delicious dinner your whole family will love.
For those of you who don’t know, my “paycheck” gig is bartending. This means I work different hours than the average person, and those hours fall on holidays. I worked a double on Thanksgiving, so Russ and I celebrated on the Saturday after. (Btw, not looking for sympathy here; it was my choice.)
Anyway, I decided to cook a ham instead of the traditional turkey, mostly because I love leftover ham. This year I created an amazing Ham and Bean Soup from the hambone and some of the leftover meat. Yes, I said it: Amazing! I always like soup (even for breakfast sometimes), but I really LOVE this soup. If you have leftover ham, I really hope you decide to give this recipe a try. Trust me, you won’t be sorry you did.
HAM AND BEAN SOUP FAQs:
What ingredients do you need to make ham and bean soup?
As with most soup recipes, the ingredient list is completely customizable. I used vegetable broth (homemade), hambone and meat, carrots, celery, onion, Yukon Gold potatoes, diced tomatoes, roasted garlic (because I love it), cannellini beans (white kidney beans), and seasonings. You can definitely add different veggies that you have on hand. If you don’t have cannellini beans, you could use great northern beans or navy beans.
What if I don’t have leftover ham?
Not a problem. You can still make Ham and Bean Soup. Just ask your butcher for a ham hock or ham shank. Do know that the shank is typically meatier? You can also purchase a small amount of ham to dice up and add to the soup.
PREPARE HAM AND BEAN SOUP:
While this soup does require a bit of chopping (as many do), the recipe is incredibly easy to make.
Begin by chopping your onion, celery, carrots, and potatoes into a half inch dice.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a Dutch oven (or similar large pot) over medium heat. Add the chopped veggies and sauté for about 8 minutes until onion is tender. Add the roasted garlic (see recipe notes) and cook about 2 more minutes.
Add the vegetable broth, ham bone, diced tomatoes, and seasonings. Stir well to combine, then cover and cook for about 20-25 minutes until the potatoes and carrots are soft.
Turn the heat to low, and add the drained and rinsed beans and the diced ham. Stir again to combine, cover the Dutch oven, and cook for 30 more minutes. Remove the ham bone, and add any extra meat from the bone to the soup. You will also want to remove the bay leaves before serving.
That’s it. Ham and Bean Soup is an incredibly easy, flavorful meal that your family will love.
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- Roasted garlic is so easy to make and something I almost always have on hand for recipes. Simply slice the top off a head of garlic, drizzle with olive oil, and wrap in foil. Roast in the oven for about 30-40 minutes depending on the cooking temp. The garlic will become very fragrant and will be soft when you squeeze it—do this carefully! I often roast garlic at the same time as cooking other dishes, so I don’t have to heat the whole oven just for a few heads of garlic. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week.
- Yes, Ham and Bean Soup freezes well. Simply place the cooled soup into a freezer container or freezer bag, and freeze up to two months.
- Do you know that homemade vegetable broth is really easy to make? I just keep a gallon size freezer bag in the freezer that I place all my veggie scraps into. Once the bag is full, I dump the contents in a slow cooker (yes, frozen), fill the insert with water, and cook on low all day, about 6-8 hours. I then strain the liquid into a large bowl. Once it is cool enough, I pour it into 2 cup servings to freeze. Two cups just seems to be a good amount for adding to things like rice.
- My Lodge Dutch oven is my favorite pot for making soups. It’s heavy duty, maintains a simmer beautifully, and is so easy to clean.
Thanks for stopping by, and as always, if you try a recipe and love it, please rate it or leave a review.
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