Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ham and Bean Soup

1 ham bone (shank or butt), trimmed
2 qts water
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
20 oz. dry beans (15 bean soup or lentils)

Cook and serve the ham for a nice ham dinner. The next morning, take the ham bone and place it in a large soup pot with 2 quarts of water. Cook until leftover meat is falling off of the bone, (by then all of the flavor is cooked out of the bone). Remove the bone and strain the drippings, returning the drippings to the pot. Remove any meat from strainer and also any meat from the bone.  Add meat to pot. Add the onion, celery, and carrots. Rinse and add beans (there is no need to soak them ahead of time).  Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cover and simmer on low for 3-4 hours (more like 2 for lentils), or until beans are tender, stirring occasionally.  Season with salt if necessary.  Don't use the artificial ham seasoning in the package of beans, the real ham flavor is plenty.

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