Monday, January 20, 2014

Navy Bean and Ham Soup

Dried beans are inexpensive and easy to store. They are also shelf stable and a great source of energy. I haven't been grocery shopping in a few weeks and am trying to extend our pantry as much as I can. A great way to do this is to make soup. This soup could also be made in the crock pot. I used a bag of navy beans. It's always a good idea to rinse and sort the beans. It is no longer required to soak the beans overnight but be sure to look at your package directions.

I added the beans to 8 cups of water in a large stock pot. I reserved and froze some ham from our Christmas dinner. To the beans and water I also added 1 tsp. of salt and two small onions whole. I love onions and call it "cooks treat" to have the onion. I cooked the beans on a medium heat for two hours.

 At that time I also added 2 TBSP of chicken bullion or soup starter. I love a pinch of pepper in this soup too. Lastly I take a potato masher and mash up some of the beans. I also removed the pieces of ham and cut them into bite sized pieces. Ham hocks can be bought cheaply and substituted for the ham pieces.  It thickens up the soup and I taste it for seasoning. Perfect for these frigid days in the heart of the polar vortex.

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