Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hearty Ham and Bean Soup

Cooking is so much more fun when you do it with others and the foodie blog world offers countless opportunities to connect with people from around the world even as you cook right in your own home.

One of my favorite bloggers, Deb in Hawaii at Kahakai Kitchen, sponsors a “Souper Sunday” every week where she posts her own soup recipe and invites other bloggers to join her.

Since I think soup is a near perfect food, I was excited to participate. My soup of the week is Ham and Bean Soup made with a 15-bean mix. The basics of the recipe came from my church, Northside United Methodist, where they sell the bean mix every year at our “Holly Fair” fundraiser each November. (They sell a similar dried bean mixture in most grocery stores.)

Their recipe was a tad plain for me, so I added some of my favorite soup ingredients (like celery, carrots and herbs) and now this is truly one of my favorite soups because it’s hearty, filling and full of flavor. I make it every time I have a ham bone, but you can also use bacon or kielbasa if you don’t have a ham bone.

One of the most important ingredients is the lemon juice. It really brightens up the soup and makes the flavors just pop. I use a Wooden Reamer to juice the lemon right into the pot. Love that little gadget!

What kitchen gadget is your favorite?

Ham and Bean Soup

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 4 1/2 – 5 hours

1 bag dried bean mixture (I like the 15 bean mixture)
1 meaty ham bone
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
5 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 – 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons of salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon basil
1 bay leaf
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 dashes Tabasco sauce

Rinse beans thoroughly. Place in Dutch oven with 4 cups water and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil and boil for two minutes. Set aside for two hours. Drain and rinse beans. Clean Dutch oven and place beans back in pot. Add two quarts of water, ham bone, onion, celery, can of tomatoes, salt, pepper, basil and bay leaf. Bring to boil – then simmer slowly for 2 1/2 hours.

Add carrots, lemon juice and Tabasco and simmer for another half hour. Remove ham bone and cut off any ham still clinging to bone and chop it up and add to soup. Serve with a salad and a nice crusty bread.

For a printable recipe click here


Meg said...

What a delicious soup! Reminds me of something my grandma used to make!

vanillasugarblog said...

I would love to make this but hubby would never touch the beans. And there is no clever way to hide beans! Ha hahaha!
But I would eat this soup. Maybe I could half down for one serving.
Aren't you so cold? I am so tired of this weather. Do you know that right now I am looking through Lands End catalog to buy an electric blanket? ha ha

Alicia Foodycat said...

15 beans! I couldn't name 15 beans in a fit! That soup looks lovely - exactly the sort of thing we love. The lemon juice is a great idea.

My favourite gadget was my Braun multi- thingy that had a mini chopper, stick blender and hand whisk, but it died recently and I haven't tested my replacement yet!

vanillasugarblog said...

sorry I forgot to say, yes, I would love to meet up at some point in the middle ha ha for coffee chat--is there a Starbucks or other wonderful coffee cafe by you? You live in Brewster? Sounds wonderful!
Stay warm!

sj said...

I love bean soup and this one looks wonderful! Nice job Laurie! Yum!!

priscilla joy said...

hi laurie, thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. so glad you like it. this soup looks yumy. hope to see you back.

Deb in Hawaii said...

Just got the post up. I love bean soup and this one really looks wonderful--love the ham and I am sure the lemon juice really brightens it! I am glad you could make it to Souper Sundays--Hope to see you back soon!

Michele said...

This would have been the perfect soup for dinner tonight! This weather is crazy. I get a lot of enjoyment out of making other people's dishes.

My favorite kitchen gadget is my mandolin slicer. I use it all of the time.

Lemon juice in the soup is a fantastic idea. I always have fresh lemons in the fridge to freshen up my dishes. It's my secret ingredient in a lot of things.

Zesty Cook said...

Excellent soup Laurie. My mother use to make something very similar when I was a mini zesty. thanks for sharing


NKP said...

I am definitely going to keep an eye out for a 15 bean mix! Sounds so grand. Good tip about using kielbasa for the ham hock.

Pam said...

I love soups like this. Hearty, easy and healthy. I am sick with a nasty cold - this soup would hit the spot.

Anonymous said...

Im trying this in the slow cooker tonight :)