The great thing about serving ham for Sunday dinner is having a leftover ham bone! Ham bones make the best soups! And you can freeze a ham bone until you’re ready to make soup. Just wrap it up really tight with Saran and then tin foil…(write with a marker what it is and the date)…and put it in the freezer! You will be so glad you did on a day like today…dreary and raining. Then when you want to make soup, you’ll be ready. And this Hearty Ham and Bean Soup is the perfect comfort food on a cold and rainy day and so very satisfying. Buttery Sourdough Biscuits are made for this soup! And today it passed the taste test of Stella….along with lots of buttered biscuits!
On the day before you want to make soup, soak dried Northern White Beans in water over night. Then make your ham stock. I like to make it the day before so I can remove all the fat from the stock before I make my soup.
I start by cutting off all the good meat left off the bone and saving it to add it back to the soup, later. Cut the fat off the bone as closely as possible. (I save my fat in a freezer bag to use to season my vegetables. Just cut it into chunks and throw it into a freezer. Ready when you are.)
Place bone in a large soup pot. Cover the bone with 3 quarts of water. Cut up a couple stalks of celery into large pieces, maybe three or four chunks, so you can remove them easily, later. Quarter a large onion and add celery and onion to the pot. Salt and pepper. Simmer until the meat is easily pulled from the bone, a couple of hours.
Remove celery and onion and discard. This stock will be be basis of your soup. I prefer to cool completely, usually overnight in the refrigerator, so I can skim any fat remaining off the top.
It’s easy to remove the fat from cold stock. But if you don’t want to wait for it to cool completely, you may skim the fat from the top of the stock. And there shouldn’t be much, since you trimmed the fat away before you cooked it.
Once you have your ham stock, you’re ready to make this wonderful Hearty Ham and Bean Soup. Enjoy!
- 2-3 quarts of Ham Stock, Made by simmering your ham bone with onion and celery a couple of hours.
- 3 cups Northern White Beans, previously soaked
- 1 medium Onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 1 can petite chopped tomatoes
- 2 stalks of celery chopped
- Chopped Ham
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all in stock pot and simmer 2 hours on low.
- When beans are tender and soup thickens, add chopped ham. You may remove and mash some of the beans to thicken, if desired.
- Serve with biscuits, cornbread or crackers