Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Bean Soup

What do you normally do with your leftover Easter Ham?  I like to make soup from our ham bone and the natural choice is a flavorful bean soup.  It takes very little in the way of work at the front end and it stays on the stovetop simmering away for an hour or two or three.  It is a one pot meal with only a handful of ingredients and it goes really well with the rest of you Easter leftovers, namely a ham sandwich,  a big chef salad, or an egg salad sandwich.  It reheats and freezes well too.
Bean Soup

1 Ham bone
1 pound dry navy beans
1 small onion, diced
3-4 stalks celery, diced
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
2 cups diced ham

Rinse the dry beans in water and then soak in a quart of water overnight.  In the morning drain the excess water from the beans.  In a large pot, heat a teaspoon or two of oil and add the onion, celery, and a bit of salt and pepper.  Cook over medium heat until onion starts to soften.  Add ham bone, beans, bay leaves, and enough water to cover the beans.  (I make sure the water is about 1 inch over the beans.)  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a low and simmer until beans are tender, about 1-2 hours.  I often leave mine on low for 2-3 hours so that the flavors have time to develop.  Remove ham bone and take any remaining meat off the bone and return to soup.  Remove bay leaves and add the remaining 2 cups diced ham to soup and adjust seasonings if needed.   Heat through and serve.

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