I hadn’t planned on writing this post today but the ham and bean soup I made last night turned out so good, I just had to share. Soup is one of those food items, like sauces, casseroles and chili, that typically taste better the day after you make them so I expect this soup will be even better today. James really enjoys soup and I really enjoy making it, so we have a win-win there. This ham and bean soup is simple to make, gets better with time and is delicious. It’s perfect served with cornbread and a salad.
Here’s how you do it:
- 2 slices of bacon cut in half
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- salt/pepper/garlic powder
- 1 medium onion chopped or 1 cup of frozen chopped onion
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks peeled and diced
- 1 can great northern or cannellini beans drained
- 2 cups chopped ham
- 4 cups of chicken stock (homemade is best, but store bought will do!)
- Cook bacon over medium heat in a large pot until browned and remove (save for a BLT later or use as a snack now)
- Add olive oil and chopped veggies, season lightly with salt/pepper/garlic powder
- Saute veggies until beginning to tender and onion is translucent
- Add chicken stock and stir up any bits from the bottom (Don’t ignore this step. This is added flavor!)
- Bring to a boil and add beans and ham
- Bring back to a boil and reduce to low, season to taste and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour
When you are making soup with beans, the longer it cooks, the beans will break down and the soup will get thicker and more savory. If you are in a hurry, the time in the recipe will be fine for a really tasty soup, but if you have time, letting this soup slow cook will only make it better. If you need it ready quickly, you can gently mash the beans with a potato masher while the soup is simmering to help them release their starches and thicken the soup. I had chopped ham in the freezer left over from a whole ham we had in early August. A ham steak chopped would also work really well and is cost efficient.
Do you have a great soup recipe to add to our collection for the fall? Share it with the rest of us in the comments below!