This is the easiest ham and bean soup recipe I have — and specially picked out for afaiktoit, (a good friend, who has been craving this soup).
TBH, the easiest ham and bean soup is basically just the beans, water, a ham hock and you are good to go — all the rest is gravy.. so to speak.
This recipe is my Grams, with a few minor changes.. like adding in chopped ham at the end, instead of beginning, because I don’t like rubbery and tasteless ham. She always made this with just the water, but I like the flavor and depth the chicken stock adds.
Enjoy! And, afaiktoit, I do expect to hear you made this!!
Ham and Bean Soup
1 pound dried beans
4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
4 cups water
1 2-3 pound ham hock (ham bone)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, shredded
1/2 cup celery, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, minced fine
1 bay leaf
2 cups chopped ham
black pepper, to taste
Rinse and pick over the beans, taking out broken or off colored ones. Place the beans in a container, and cover with water, with 2/3 of the water above the beans. Allow to soak 8-10 hours. **See note
Drain the beans, add to your soup pot, and cover with chicken stock and water. Add in the ham hock, carrots, garlic, celery, mustard powder, and bay leaf.
Allow to simmer until the beans are tender. Once they are at the very edible stage (mmmmmm), take the ham hock out, and add the chopped ham. Add black pepper to taste, and serve.
** Note on soaking beans:
You can also speed this up by bring a pot of water to a boil, adding salt and the beans. Remove from the heat and allow to sit, covered, for about 1 hour)
- I sometimes add about 1 cup of tomato sauce to this recipe, when I add the vegetables. It adds a depth of flavor, and makes it richer tasting.
- If you don’t have chicken stock — no worries — just use water.
- I use almost any bean that is available but I like great northern or pinto for this, personally. They have in the market some mixed beans…packages with 10 to 15 different beans, which does give this soup an interesting variation, if you are so inclined.