Leftover ham from the holidays? My motto is: make soup! I was lucky enough to get a wonderful ham bone from a dinner at my mom’s, so stock and soup were calling my name.
Since I know we’re all busy with the holidays, I’ll keep this short and simple. These are guesstimated amounts, since soup is a wing-it kind of thing for me and I don’t really measure, The key is really ratio – add more of what you like, less (or none) of what you don’t.
To make your ham stock, cover the bone with cold water in a large stock pot. Add onions, garlic, veggies, a few peppercorns. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until liquid is reduced by half, about 2 1/2- 3 hours. Strain our bone and veggies, discard.
- 1 lb dried navy beans, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
- 6 cups stock made from ham bone and veggies
- 3-4 cups diced ham
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or canola oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 4 carrots, sliced
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme (I dry my own, so it’s very high quality. By all means use fresh, if you have it)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (see my note on thyme)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Black pepper, to taste
In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and stir for a minute or two, then add garlic. Cook for about 3 minutes, until onions are translucent.
Add stock, herbs and spices and bring to a simmer.
Add beans and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover, and cook until beans begin to become tender, about 1 hour.
Add ham, carrots and celery and simmer for another 30 minutes, or until beans and veggies are tender. Want to customize this? Add veggies of your choice here – chopped tomatoes, potatoes, kale, asparagus, broccoli – whatever you like and have on hand.
Definitely serve with some crusty bread.
Maybe not a noteworthy photo, but trust me, this soup is delicious, hearty and will warm you up on a cold winter night.