Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Heritage Ham and Bean Soup

I'm entering this soup into the City of Ames Employee Chili/Soup Cookoff tomorrow--wish me luck! (Last year I won healthiest soup with this lentil soup recipe.)

It is one of our families' very favorite soups--if you like ham and beans and you like soup that gets thicker and better when you freeze it, this soup is for you. Enjoy! 

Heritage Ham and Bean Soup
(also known as 5 Bean French Market Soup)
Anastasia Tuckness
From my Great Grandma Katherine Tymes
15-20 servings
6 hours, mostly unattended

2 1/2 cups (16-20 oz) dried mixed beans
3 quarts water
1 tsp salt
1 bay leaf
¼ t dried basil
1 ham hock (3/4 lb)
28 oz can whole tomatoes, broken up
2 medium onions, chopped
6 stalks celery, diced
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb smoked sausage ring, sliced thinly
½ c fresh chopped parsley, or 1 T dried
½ c red wine, or ¼ c red wine vinegar

1.     Soak the beans in twice the water needed to cover them overnight.  Drain them.
2.     In a large soup pot, combine water, beans, salt, bay leaf, basil, and ham hock.  Simmer 2 ½-3 hours, adjusting the heat and the lid to keep it at a slow simmer (bubbles just barely break surface of soup), and stirring often enough to keep it from sticking (at least every half hour, more if the pan is not heavy-bottomed).
3.     Add tomatoes, onions, celery, and garlic.  Simmer 1 ½ hours, uncovered, stirring to keep from sticking.
4.     Remove the ham hock to a cutting board.  Add sausage to pot. Once the ham hock has cooled, cut off all the meat and add it back to the pot.  Simmer 45 more minutes.
5.     Add parsley and red wine.  Enjoy!

·      +This is a good recipe to start in the morning on a day when you’ll be cooking other things or working around the house, and can just walk by it frequently to check on it.
   +You can use ½ cup each of 5 different dried beans; that's what my mom does. I like to buy the 20 oz bag of mixed beans from Fareway because you get nice big ones and little tiny ones that melt into the soup.
·      +This soup freezes really well and tastes better the day after you make it.
·      +You can purchase a ham hock at Fareway’s meat counter (I get a 1 ½ lb shank cut in half, then use the other half for pea soup—you can freeze the shank for a while) or use a leftover ham bone.  


Amy said...

Thank you for this. I've been looking for a good bean and ham recipe!

Anastasia said...

You're welcome! If you don't like tomatoes, this is a great version as well--I've made it a couple times and like it too: