The secret to fantastic home made soup is using bones. Easter’s coming and for many that means ham. I’ve prepared all sorts of ham in my 26 years of marriage and I’ve found that my family likes the big bone-in, unspiral-cut, plain ham. What this means is that you usually have a very nice ham bone for soup! You can chop up pieces of ham into a soup, but nothing compares to a soup that’s simmered all day, drawing the nourishment and taste from that ham bone!
For this recipe, I purchased 15 Bean Soup from Hurst’s HamBeens. I didn’t use the little flavor packet or the recipe on the back of the bag. I was only interested in the beautiful variety of beans contained in the package.
Northern, Pinto, Navy
Large Lima, Baby Lima
Small white, Small red, Pink beanKidney,
White Kidney, Cranberry Bean
Yelloweye Bean, Black Bean, Garbanzo
Yellow Split pea, Green Split Pea, Lentil
15 Bean with Ham Soup Recipe
1 nice ham bone (can be frozen)
1 variety package of beans, like Hurst’s HamBeens
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups water
4 cups chicken broth (You can sub 4 cups water, I just like the extra depth the broth adds.)
Rinse and sort beans. This is a very important step. In just about every bag of beans I’ve ever cooked, I’ve found a small pebble. You don’t want to bite down on one! Put dried beans in a large pot and cover with about 8 cups of water. Let stand over night or for at least 8 hours.
Drain and rinse beans. Return to large pot. Add chopped onion, one stalk of celery (I leave mine whole so I can remove it later. Otherwise, chop before adding.), 2 peeled and sliced carrots, 3 cloves minced garlic, 6 cups water, and 4 cups chicken broth.
Place uncovered pot on burner. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Remove ham bone from soup. Cool a bit. Remove any meat from bone. Chop meat and return to soup. Discard bone. If beans are done, serve with cornbread, crackers, or crusty bread. My family likes really thick soup, so I continue simmering for a bit. The soup is pretty forgiving.