Thursday, April 19, 2012

Navy Bean Soup

The Easter ham is but a sweet (and salty) memory....but, you know, all good things must come to an end.  Or  must they?????  There's potential here...just about anything is possible...get ready folks, yet another recipe with a hambone comin' at ya! 

If you've been following Dinner Plan-it, you know I treasure those last ham-y bits awaiting their transformation into something possibly even better than the original joint of meat.You've seen recipes here on Dinner Plan-it for Ham & Green Beans  (Mieke and I made that together over Christmas) and for Black Bean Soup - made that one recently, too.  (If you don't have those recipes, check the right hand side of the blog and click on "ham."  Those recipes will pop right up!)  Now it's time for (drumroll, please) Navy Bean Soup!  
Navy Bean Soup is a classic.  Even the U. S. Senate has a bean soup that's popular in the Senate restaurant that it's served every single day....has been since the early 1900's.  Hmmm, that might explain a lot of the hot air around there.  I haven't been making mine quite that long, only since the 60's.  

The Senate version is pretty simple - beans,onion, water, ham, butter, salt and pepper. Mine packs a lot more flavor...well, in my humble, non-governmental opinion, anyway.  The hambone simmers for a couple of hours with lots of leafy-topped celery, onions, garlic and LOTS of carrots.  Tomatoes add even more flavor and color.  It isn't just protein packed ham and beans in that big old soup pot in my kitchen, this soup is packed with lots of vitamins and minerals and fiber, too by golly!  
Give it a try and see what you think!

Navy Bean Soup

  • 1 ham bone, with lots of meat on it
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, with lots of leaves, chopped
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped finely
  • 1 pound navy beans, soaked overnight and drained
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • water
  • Jane's Crazy Salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • hot sauce - optional (I like Cholula Chile Garlic!)

In a large soup pot, cover hambone with water, add onions, celery and garlic.  Cover pot with lid, bring the water to a boil, lower to medium and simmer the soup for about an hour.  Add the beans, carrots and tomatoes, return to a simmer and cook until the ham is falling off the bone.

Remove the bone, cut the ham into bite sized pieces, if necessary.  Adjust the seasonings with Crazy Salt and pepper and continue simmering until the veggies and beans are soft and creamy.

Add hot sauce, if desired (and I desire!).  Serve!
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