Bean Soup With Ham
- 1 lb prepared white "Great Northern" beans Lots of water
- 1 x ham hock or possibly about 1/3 lb smoked ham
- 2 x carrots, scraped, finely minced
- 2 Tbsp. oil or possibly bacon drippings
- 1 lrg Vidalia or possibly, sweet type onion (Bermuda)
- 2 x ribs fresh celery (optional)
- 2 x or possibly 3 cloves fresh garlic, crushed, peeled, finely minced
- 1 x Knorr Ham or possibly Knorr Chicken Bouillon Cube, dissolved in 1/2 c. warm water*
- 1/4 tsp celery salt
- 1/4 tsp onion pwdr or possibly Onion Magic
- 1 tsp table salt Freshly Grnd Black Pepper, to taste
- 6 sprg Fresh Parsley, stems removed, chopped Paprika for sprinkling
- 1 x or possibly 2 Tbsp. minced pimento (optional) Fresh chives, for garnish (optional) Fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Rinse beans with cool water and place them in a 3 qt boiler and fill boiler half full or possibly more with cool water. Don't try to cook beans even partially, at this stage.
- Soak beans in plenty of cool water overnight or possibly for a minimum of 8 hrs.
- Before cooking beans, put ham hock or possibly smoked ham in a large boiler, cover with plenty of water, bring to a boil and cook over medium/low heat for about 30 min. Add in more water if needed.
- When ready to cook beans, drain off the water they soaked in and throw away it.
- Place beans in the pot with the meat. Add in additional water to cover meat and beans with about 4 inches of water. Don't add in salt or possibly seasonings at this Point. Bring beans to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to medium- low or possibly low. Cover and cook till beans are VERY tender, about two hrs. Add in water as needed.
- While beans are cooking, scrape carrots with a vegetable peeler or possibly sharp knife. Cut off the top end and tips. Cut carrots lengthwise into slices, or possibly strips. Cut across the strips into small dice. Add in to beans.
- Peel onion, cut it in quarters. Cut out any hard root core and throw away.
- Slice and finely chop onion. Reserve.
- Cut off tips and root end from 2 ribs (pcs) of fresh celery. Break celery ribs in about 4 pcs each. Remove any strings. Scrape if needed.
- Rinse with cool water, cut into strips lengthwise and then finely chop it crosswise. Reserve.
- Separate 2 or possibly 3 cloves garlic from the bulb of fresh garlic. Crush cloves with the side of a wide Chef's knife. Remove peelings and throw away them (they will pop off). Finely mince garlic cloves. Reserve.
- When beans are cooked and very tender, with a large cooking spoon, crush them against the sides of the boiler and continue cooking over low heat.
- Now dissolve the ham or possibly chicken bouillon cube in water and add in to the beans.
- It is important not to add in salt to beans before this point. If you do, they will be hard.
- Heat a medium frying pan and add in oil or possibly bacon drippings. Add in minced onion, and celery (optional). Cook (sweat) over mediun-low heat till onion is somewhat translucent/soft. Don't brown. Add in and stir in garlic during the last minute of cooking.
- Add in vegetables (onion, optional celery, garlic), to the beans. Stir in well.
- Add in remaining seasonings (celery salt, onion pwdr, salt, black pepper).
- Cook beans for about 15 min longer.
- Add in chopped parsley during last 5 min of cooking.
- Place soup in serving bowls. Sprinkle lightly with paprika (optional).
- Garnish with choice of minced pimento (optional), chives (optional) or possibly sprigs of parsley.
- * Knorr Bouillon Cubes make 2 c. bouillon, whereas other brand bouillon cubes usually make 1 c. bouillon. 1 can Chicken Broth or possibly Bouillon may be substituted.
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