I make soup in the fall and freeze it for the cold winter months ahead. This is one of my favorites and what I'm having for lunch today. I like my soup thick and creamy and this one turned out just right. Add a big old slice of corn bread and butter and you've got the perfect meal!
White Bean Soup with Ham
1 ham steak – cut into bite sized pieces (see note)
1 pound dried white cannellini beans
1 can of navy beans
1-1/2 cups of chopped onion
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 tablespoon bacon drippings
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 quarts chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1/4 chopped celery
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Rinse the beans in water and discard any debris. I usually soak mine in water overnight and then drain the next day.
In a large soup or stockpot over low to medium heat, sauté the onions in the bacon drippings for about 5-10 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic and celery and cook over low heat for 3 more minutes. Add the drained white beans, chicken stock, and bay leaf. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until the beans are very soft. Open the can of navy beans and mashed them with the back of a spoon or run them through a food processor. I add them to make the soup thicker and more creamier. Stir the mashed beans into your soup pot along with the cubed ham. Simmer on low heat for another 30 minutes until thickened. Discard bay leaf and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
NOTE: I also make this with dice cooked chicken or turkey thighs.
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