Ham & Beans
A hearty old fashion Ham & Bean soup that goes great with buttery cornbread! Ingredients included for a "country style" twist.
Prep Time: 30 minutes, need to soak all beans overnight
Cook Time: 2 1/2 hours
Ready In: 3 hours
Servings: 3 gallons
2 Lbs dry Great Northern Beans
8 cups chicken broth
4 t sea salt
1 t fresh ground black pepper
6 yellow onions, chopped
4 lg cloves garlic, minced
2 t dry mustard powder (no yellow mustard!)
3 bay leaves
3 T lemon juice
8 c water
2 dashes Tabasco
1 lb bacon, diced and cooked
2 T olive oil
Ham *see below for proper ham selection
Add all or any mixture of the following ingredients for a "country style" twist!
1 lb small red beans
1T fresh parsley, chopped
1T chili powder
2 stalks celery, chopped
5 large carrots, chopped
*When it comes to ham, you can use almost anything however there is one basic rule to note...
Do not use "Honey", "dry rubbed", or "cloved" hams, this will drastically change the flavor profile of the soup, effectively ruining your batch.
Pre-packaged store bought diced or chopped ham packages will work well, 1 pound will do unless you like more ham in your soup.
The 2 best hams to use are a ham hock with ham on the bone or a smoked ham. Use caution if using smoked hams, no honey or rubbed smokers, also note smoked hams will leech smoked flavor into your soup, the longer it stands the more smoked flavor you will have, this is best for a "country style" soup.
The amount of ham you add is essentially up to you!
Sort, rinse, and soak all of your beans in a large pot filled with 8 cups of water overnight. Do not discard the water, that's flavor!
- Dice the veggies, onions, and garlic
- Sweat the onions in 2T olive oil for 10 minutes in a medium saucepot, add garlic (add carrots and celery now if making country style soup) and sweat for another 5 until onions are translucent (sweat for 15 if making country style soup), set aside
- Dice and cook the bacon in a pan, don't get too crispy, a light brown will do, set aside
- In a very large pot, bring the beans and the 8 cups of soaking water to a quick boil. Add the ham hock/bone (if using a hock), if you're using any other type of ham, add it now. Set heat to low and simmer for at least an hour. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking. If using ham hock, the bone stays in until the last minute.
- After an hour of simmering, you can add all other ingredients except for celery and carrots.
- If adding celery and/or carrots to your soup,add near the end of your batch, this keeps them firm and avoids overpowering your soup.
- Bring to a medium simmer, stirring occasionally. When the soup begins to thicken you'll need to lower the heat to avoid sticking.
- Stir frequently at this point, watch for beans sticking to bottom, it's easy to burn and ruin an entire batch at this point.
- Cook until soup is as thick as you like it and the beans are done!