Ham and Bean Soup

Ham and bean soup from Oak Hill Homestead

I love using my slow cooker on busy days, and what is more perfect in the slow cooker than a big pot of soup?

After our Christmas dinner I put the bone from our ham into the freezer, to be made into ham and bean soup on a busy day sometime in January, which is National Soup Month. That was a really good ham, by the way. As well as the meaty bone, there were a few slices of ham left over, so those went into the freezer also.

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Ham and bean soup from Oak Hill Homestead

The night before making the soup I put about half a pound of great northern beans into a large bowl and covered them with plenty of water. In the morning I poured off the water and put the beans in the slow cooker with the ham bone, added water, chicken stock and seasonings, and let it cook while I ran my errands in town.

When I returned home, I chopped the carrots, celery, onion, garlic and potato, and added them to the slow cooker. I also pulled off all the meat bits from the ham bone and chopped the leftover ham I'd put in the freezer. I returned the ham to the slow cooker and discarded the bone. The soup cooked away in my Crockpot (affiliate link) for the rest of the day while I made a loaf of bread and did housework.

No slow cooker in your kitchen? Don't let that stop you, it's great simmered on top of the stove too.

The house smelled wonderful when hubby came home from work, and the beans were nice and soft with a very rich broth. We added salt to taste before serving - I don't know if this is true, but my mother taught me not to put salt in a bean dish until it's ready to eat, because salt will keep the beans from getting soft. True or not, that's what I do, because I don't want to find out the hard way that she was right.

This thick and meaty soup is perfect for chilly winter days and a great way to make use of a ham bone, if you have one. No bone? That's ok, it's delicious without the ham flavoring too. Pair it with a salad and a loaf of home-baked bread and you'll have a meal fit for a king.

Ham and Bean Soup - using dry beans - from Oak Hill Homestead

Ham and Bean Soup

2 cups dry great northern beans
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
1 ham bone
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/4 tsp sage
1/4 tsp savory
1/2 tsp pepper
salt to taste
1/2 chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 clove of minced garlic
1 potato, cubed

The night before making the soup, soak the beans in a large bowl of water. In the morning, drain off the water and add the beans to the slow cooker with the ham bone, chicken broth, water and seasonings. Turn slow cooker to medium for four hours.

Add onion, carrots, celery, garlic and potato cubes. Remove the ham bone and pull off the meat bits; return the meat to the soup and discard the bone. Cook on medium setting for several hours longer. Add salt to taste and serve with crusty, homemade bread.

The Month of Soups collection:
Cream of Asparagus Soup
Spilt Pea Soup
Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Ham and Bean Soup
White Bean Tortellini Soup
Roasted Tomato Soup
Chicken and Mushroom Soup
Broccoli and Cheddar Soup
French Onion Soup
Albondigas Soup

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