HAM AND BEAN SOUP
A truly outstanding ham and bean soup, undoubtedly one of our top favorites! A hearty stew with plenty of beans, carrots, and spices, as well as large chunks of smoky ham.
This soup has a few unique touches that make it stand out from the rest. Any time of day (and it freezes nicely, too!), it’s a great choice.
SOUP RECIPE FOR LIFE: HAM AND BEANS
Classic American comfort meal recipes have always been essential. The perfect recipe for a dish like meatloaf, beef stew, spaghetti, and meatballs, or banana bread. The one that you can hold on to for generations to come.
My aunt, who has always been a virtuoso at making classic comfort dishes, is the source of this recipe.
Thick and satisfying, it contains a variety of veggies and beans and a smokey flavor from the inclusion of ham hocks.
WHAT A DUTCH OVEN IS AND WHY YOU NEED ONE
This dish necessitates the use of a Dutch oven. The soup can continue to bubble for a long time without burning because of this.
I used medium and medium-low heat at the same time. A simmer of just enough heat to cook the soup but not so much that beans charred the bottom was just right.
In the afternoon, I began making my soup. Finally, we were able to eat our dessert, and it was really delicious!
When making this dish, you’ll need a pressure cooker if you’d like to use dried beans instead of canned. If you’d rather use a pressure cooker, I’ve included step-by-step directions from my aunt at the conclusion of the recipe. So, if your cupboard is overflowing with packs of dry beans, this is a great way to use them!
- 14 ounces of diced ham
- 5 15 oz. cans of assorted beans
- 4 large chopped garlic cloves
- 2 large bay leaves
- 9 cups of water
- 2 1/2 cups of diced carrots
- 2 cups of diced celery
- 1 1/2 cups of diced onions
- 1/2 cup of chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons of chicken bouillon paste
- 1 tablespoon of oil
- 2 teaspoons of dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons of onion powder
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke
- 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon of paprika
- For approximately 3 minutes or so, on medium heat, warm up a Dutch oven (you may also use a thick-bottomed soup pot, but you may need to stir more frequently to prevent burning). Add the onions and oil. Cook the onions until they start to get transparent. Cook for 1-2 minutes after adding the garlic.
- Add the chopped carrots and celery after stirring, and simmer for an additional 5 to 6 minutes. Add the water first, then the beans. Turn up the heat all the way.
- Add the paprika, chicken bouillon paste, white pepper, black pepper, dried thyme, bay leaves, and garlic and onion powders. (If you don’t have chicken bouillon paste, just swap out the water for chicken stock.) up to a boil.
- Add the ham and stir. For added texture, I prefer to chop it into large pieces or shreds. (Sarah, meanwhile, prefers hers neatly cubed. I’m not going to judge either way!) You can now include a ham hock if you’re not using ham.
- The soup should constantly be at a low bubble, so turn the heat down to medium-low so that it is simmering slightly actively. While cooking for 4-5 hours, stir occasionally. You may want to turn up the heat to medium if the soup isn’t simmering. Don’t just set the stove and walk away because every stove is different. Regularly check the liquid level.
- Add the fresh parsley during the last hour of simmering, and stew for an additional hour. When the soup has thickened and the beans and carrots are soft, the dish is finished. If you used a ham hock, pull out any bones and, before serving, slice up any large chunks of flesh and skin (preserving the skin is optional).
- This soup is very accommodating. Simply add water and lightly mash a few of the beans to release their starchiness and thicken the soup again if it becomes too salty for your liking. Simply add 1-2 cups of water to the soup during warming if there is not enough liquid to get the appropriate consistency.