With Easter just around the corner, you will have that ham bone you always wonder what to do with. Make an old fashioned soup! Remember to take some to your grandma; she will be so proud of you!
Grandma’s White Bean and Ham Soup
1 lb. of dried white beans
6-8 cups of water
1 ham hock
6 cups of chicken broth
1-2 tsp bacon grease or oil
1 cup yellow onion, diced
2 cups peeled and diced carrots
3 stalks of celery, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup peeled and diced russet potatoes
1 teaspoon mustard powder
2 bay leaves
Salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Rinse and sort through the beans looking for any small stones. In a large saucepan add 6-8 cups of cold water to the pound of dried beans. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and let stand at room temperature least 8 hours. Drain and rinse the beans, do not keep the water. While the beans are soaking, into your crock pot add the chicken broth and the ham hock. Heat on medium for 8 hours. Remove the ham hock, and pull the meat from the bone to add to the soup. Cut the ham into bite size pieces and discard the fat. Put the broth/stock into a large bowl, and let stock sit while you play with that ham hock. The fat will rise to the top of the bowl, and then you can then spoon off the fat and discard it. Heat the bacon grease in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, & celery.
Cook for 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30-60 seconds before adding the stock from the ham hock. Add the drained white beans, the ham from the bone, potatoes, and the spices. Cover and cook over low heat until beans are done at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Taste and re-season with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Remove the bay leaf and ladle into bowls. Serve with salad and bread if desired. Enjoy. *Gluten free, check your chicken broth label.