Monday, December 26, 2016

Country Ham And Bean Soup
























Whenever my Mom made ham we could always expect to big bowl of soup the next day for lunch.  She would chop up the ham, throw in the ham hock, and add whatever she had on hand to make the most delicious soup.  Beans are perfect for soup because they soak up the deliciousness of the broth and veggies.  Love this soup....it reminds me of home.

Country Ham And Bean Soup
  
Ham Stock

4 tablespoons butter or use bacon grease 
1 onion diced
3 stalks of celery finely diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 large ham hocks or ham shanks 
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf

In a large stock pot, melt butter or bacon grease over medium heat.  Add diced onion, garlic, celery to pot and cook until tender.  Next add your ham hock or shank and the water and chicken broth.  Add in thyme and bay leaf and stir well. Cover with lid and bring to boil. Then reduce heat to simmer on low and cook for about three hours. Remove ham hock and set aside.
























Pour the stock through a strainer and remove solids.  If using right away, return to pot and prepare to make your soup. If not you can freeze it for later. 

Soup

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 cup chopped carrots
½ cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (30 oz) can of diced tomatoes 
2 bay leaves
4 whole cloves
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 teaspoons garlic powder
1 pound of dry great Northern beans, rinsed and soaked overnight
1 teaspoon pepper
Salt to taste

Heat the oil in the bottom of a Dutch oven or large soup pot.  Add chopped onion, celery and carrot; cook over medium until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Remove from heat and add the ham you picked from the ham shank or ham hock.  Add mixture to soup pot and stir well to combine all ingredients. 

Rinse and sort through the beans. Add to the pot, along with prepared ham stock. Add in diced tomatoes, cloves, bay leaves, brown sugar and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce your heat to low and cook for about 3½ hours or until beans are tender, checking every hour to make sure you add enough water to keep beans covered.  Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve hot with Cornbread! 






















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