Ham and Bean Soup
Why I Love This Recipe
Cool fall weather makes me think of soups. After spending time in the yard, working on those “prep for winter” jobs, it’s nice to come in the house to a pot of hot and hearty soup. My crock pot never truly gets put away. It lives on a shelf in the kitchen that’s easily accessible and I use it all year round.
I just use the crock pot a whole lot more in the fall! We seem to eat more chili in the fall than any other time of the year. We also start eating a lot more soups in the fall. There’s something comforting about a bowl of soup and a grilled cheese sandwich that chases away fall’s chill.
While chili is a great way to fill up the family, sometimes we’re looking for a different flavor. This ham and bean soup is a great alternative. It’s thick enough to be filling, yet mild flavored so folks who aren’t into spicy can enjoy it
Ingredients You'll Need
1 lg. Carrot, diced
1 lg. Onion, diced
1 Celery stalk, diced
2 (15 oz) cans of Navy Beans
1 (15 oz) can Chicken Stock
3 c. Ham, diced
2 tsp. Thyme flakes
2 tsp. Parsley flakes
Place all ingredients in your crock pot and simmer on low for four hours.
Make it a Meal: serve with a salad or sandwich. A pan of warm, yellow corn bread is a favorite accompaniment. If you’re from New England, Boston Brown Bread is the traditional side dish for baked beans (although Boston Baked Beans are entirely different from this soup.)
Approximate Nutritional Value: Servings per Recipe: 8, Calories: 220, Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 28mg, Sodium: 1150mg, Total Carbs: 27g, Protein: 18g.
Variations: Exchange the ham for sausage. If you are watching sodium intake, you’ll want to modify this recipe slightly. You may already purchase low / no salt canned beans and chicken stock. Another approach is to start with the dried beans and cook them yourself.
Cooking beans isn’t as difficult as you may think. I’ve found that not only are the dried beans less expensive than prepared/canned beans, but actually simple to fix. Again, I like to use the slow cooker. I pour all the beans into a pie plate or other large flat dish and sort them. Toss any that look off color or shriveled.
Place the beans in the slow cooker and add enough water to cover the beans by two to three inches. Cook on low heat for 4 to 6 hours. If you plan to cook them while you’re at work, or overnight, you’ll want to increase the water to make sure they don’t scorch in the pot.
Wait until the beans are cooked before you add salt. Salt added at the beginning of the process results in tough beans. When you do add salt, you’ll only want to add enough to add a little flavor. It’s amazing how the thyme and oregano in this soup add enough flavor that you’ll only want a sprinkle of salt.
Regardless of the type of bean preparation you decide to use, your family will agree that a bowl of this soup on a crisp fall evening makes a filling supper. Go ahead, pull out your crock pot and some beans and get started!