I recently made my very first ham roast, and by made, I mean I got a 7lb smoked ham from my local butcher because they were the only one who had a spiral cut ham ready to go. One of these days, I will actually make a ham from start to finish (in the sense that I will glaze it myself and when it’s not so warm out), BUT it was still a great exercise in being creative with my leftovers, which included trying these Ham & Cheese Sliders by Damn Delicious, adding ham to my go-to Chicken & Andouille Sausage Gumbo by Vice, doing a homemade potato gratin (recipe still in progress because the last 2 times were not quite there), and then with the very last dregs, I made Ham & Bean soup, and took it one step further by also making Cheddar & Jalapeno bread! Now, if I did this all again, I would have reminded myself as I finished carving up the ham is this: SAVE. THE. BONE. Even if you don’t know what to do with it right away, throw it in a ziplock bag and freeze it till you need it. By the time I said, “Hm, maybe I’ll also make a soup!” it was too late…so that’s my first thing for you. Second, bread is no longer super scary (especially the no knead ones like this one). It came out SO so good, so I will be posting the bread recipe next week!
P.S. Don’t forget that you can order cookies from me directly from my Cookie Order Page on this very same blog! (Yes, shameless plug, but I need to keep pushing it!)
Hoping you are safe and well!
— Cooking Maggie
On Ham and Bean Soup
- 1 16-oz bag dried Navy Beans, rinsed
- 1 Ham Bone, or smoked ham hock (THIS IS OPTIONAL – your soup will still be delicious without it)
- If you don’t have a ham bone, you can use 1-2 cups of diced leftover ham, or store bought cubed ham.
- 1/2 white onion, diced
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp salt, more to taste
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, more to taste
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup carrot, diced
- If possible, soak your beans overnight in enough water that leaves 2 inches on top. Then drain and discard the liquid.*
- Heat some olive oil in a 4-quart soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, and garlic, then saute until tender.
- Add in the navy beans, ham bone (IF YOU HAVE IT, if not just add in your chopped up ham), thyme, salt, pepper, and stock.
- Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours covered with a loose-fitting lid. Note: While cooking, add water as needed to keep the liquid line right above the beans to promote evenly cooked beans.
- Add carrots and continue to simmer for an additional 20-30 minutes before serving and continue cooking, stirring as needed.
- If you did not use a hambone, go to step 7. If you used a hambone, when beans are done, transfer ham bone out of the pot and strip any edible ham from it. Sift and discard any small bone pieces or gristle from the soup, then add the ham back to the soup.
- If you like a creamier soup, mash some of the beans to thicken the broth. Add shredded ham back to the cooker and serve warm.
*If you are also like me and forget to soak your beans overnight, NEVER FEAR! I discovered a really awesome way to quick soak the beans and they came out JUST as good as regular soaking! To quick soak beans: 1) Rinse your beans in a colander with cool tap water. Then pick through and discard any little stones or debris that may be packaged with them accidentally. 2) Add the beans to a large pot and cover them with about 2 inches of water. 3) Bring the water to a boil over high heat, and leave the pot uncovered and boiling for 5 minutes. 4) Remove the pot from the heat and let the beans soak in the hot water for an hour. 5) Drain, rinse, and cook beans according to the recipe!