Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ham and 15 Bean Soup

What could be better on a brisk fall evening than a hot bowl of good soup? Whenever we have ham I always freeze the left-overs for ham-bean soup. It's one of my favorite soups. For whatever reason my boys think they don't like beans, they just pick out the ham and broth. Have I mentioned that my kids are picky yet? I'm sure they get it from me, yup Picky Nicky, never heard that before. But my kids are very picky. Luckily they eat some of it.

This soup is extremely easy to make and that makes it even better. The 15 bean package is sold in most stores around me. Sometimes its 16 bean, whatever. I NEVER use the seasoning packet if one is included. I also often add an extra handful of lentils to stretch and thicken it. 1/2 package fills my 5 1/2 quart pot just about right. I also use the quicker method of boiling the beans because I rarely plan the night before, or even that morning.

Ham and 15 bean soup

1/2 package 15 beans (dry beans)
1 lb of ham, cubed
1 medium-large onion diced
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tbs. lemon juice
1 clove garlic chopped
salt and pepper

Prepare beans by rinsing and soaking about 8 hours or use the quick method and bring beans to boil, then simmer for about 1 hour.
When using the quick method I drain the beans after the first hour then fill the pot back with water depending on the size of your pot, there isn't really a lot of exactness in this I'd say about 3-4 quarts and start to add soup ingredients.
If you use the soak method, drain the water after about 8 hours then refill and add soup ingredients.
I fill my pot almost to the top, it reduces some as it simmers. Continue to simmer until beans are tender, around 2 1/2 hours total (including quick boil). Adjust seasonings as needed.

Hot, healthy, comforting and definitely makes a good table.

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