I may bake a ham once, possibly twice a year. I enjoy the ham but I have to admit - the best thing, for me, is making soup from the ham bone! My favorite use of leftover ham is to make split pea soup, but this time navy bean soup just sounded so good and hearty. My soup was made from mostly navy beans but I found a bag of dried pink beans on the shelf and couldn't resist adding a few of those.
This soup recipe is adapted from numerous recipes and adapted to my taste buds. I hope you try it!!
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Navy Bean Soup
~A Savoring Time in the Kitchen Original
1 pound navy beans (Today, I added some pink beans also)
1 meaty ham bone, or you could use a smoked pork hock
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 medium carrots, diced
2-3 stalks of celery, diced
1 large clove minced garlic
2-3 sprigs of thyme
Approximately 3 quarts Water, Chicken or Vegetable Stock
Salt and Pepper
If you are a well-planned soup maker, you can soak the beans overnight. If you’re like me, at least get started in the morning! Pick out any unsavory-looking beans and rinse in a colander. Place the beans into a soup pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, remove from heat and let them rest for 30 minutes. Pour beans back into the colander and rinse again.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a sauté pan. Add the onion, carrots and celery and sauté for about 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
Put the beans back into the soup pot along with the ham bone and cover with water or, as I do, add chicken or vegetable stock to cover the beans by at least 2 inches. Add the sautéed vegetables and thyme sprigs and simmer the soup on low heat for 4-5 hours until the beans are tender. Remove ham bone, dice the remaining ham from the bone and return to soup.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Remove thyme stems before serving and garnish with Mediterranean Sea Salt or Parsley. Cheddar bread sticks are a perfect compliment.