10 January, 2017
Not Green Eggs & Ham …. It’s White Beans & Ham…. Soup
You might know about the famous Dr. Seuss books if you’ve been around children under the age of 10 or grew up when his books started becoming popular. I avoided making ham and eggs for years while the kids were growing up all because of Dr. Seuss. After reading the book Green Eggs and Ham to our children for the 167th time (as well as others in the Dr. Seuss library) I was not only tongued-tied, but brain-dead. Didn’t want to start my day like that!
So when I was deciding which soup to make that would use up excess ham (we eat a lot of soups in the winter time) Bean Soup and Ham came to mind, as well as the title of the Dr. Seuss book. 😉
I’m including two different recipes for this soup, one very easy and one with a little more depth in the cooking process. Both are good in my opinion.
- 2 cans (15-1/2 ounces each) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 2 tablespoons butter (I used olive oil)
- 2-1/4 cups water
- 1-1/2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon white pepper (I used black pepper)
- 1 bay leaf
- Mash one can of beans; set aside.
- Sauté the carrots, celery, and onion in butter or oil.
- Stir in the water, ham, seasonings, whole and mashed beans.
- Cook over low-medium heat for about one-half hour.
- Discard bay leaf before serving.
- Nutritional Facts
- 1 cup: 162 calories, 7g fat (3g saturated fat), 29mg cholesterol, 860mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 4g fiber), 10g protein
- 1 pound dried cannellini beans
- 3 1/2 quarts (14 cups) water, plus more for soaking the beans
- 1 meaty smoked ham bone or 2 ham hocks (about 1 pound)
- 3 fresh thyme sprigs or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 medium celery stalks
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 1 1/2 cups medium-dice, fully cooked smoked ham (about 8 ounces)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Place the beans in a large bowl and pick through them, removing and discarding any broken beans or stones.
- Cover them with at least 3 inches of cold water. Allow to soak uncovered and at room temperature at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain in a colander and set aside.
- Place the measured water and ham bone or hocks in a Dutch oven or a large, heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Reduce the heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 1 hour.
- Add the soaked beans and thyme, stir to combine (leave the bone or hocks in the pot), and return to a simmer, skimming the surface with a spoon as necessary to remove any scum.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are almost completely tender but still a little underdone in the center, about 1 hour (the beans should not be completely cooked because they will cook more later).
- Meanwhile, peel and cut the carrots into medium dice and place in a medium bowl. Cut the celery and onion into medium dice and add them to the bowl with the carrots.
- Add the diced vegetables and measured salt to the pot, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans and vegetables are tender and the meat is falling off the bone, about 40 minutes more. Turn off the heat.
- Remove the ham bone or hocks to a cutting board and let sit until cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bones and set it aside (discard the skin and bones).
- Using a potato masher, lightly mash half of the beans and vegetables, leaving the remaining half intact.
- Stir in the diced and reserved ham.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And
you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll
decide where to go.