Ham and Bean Soup Recipe: A Hearty & Satisfying Dish
When the weather turns chilly, there’s nothing more comforting than a steaming bowl of delicious and heartwarming soup. One such dish that has stood the test of time is the Ham and Bean Soup. This flavorful and satisfying soup features tender, juicy ham and protein-rich beans, making it a well-rounded meal for the entire family. This classic soup is perfect for family gatherings or cozy evenings at home with your loved ones.
To make this hearty and satisfying Ham and Bean Soup, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 1 pound dried navy beans, or other white beans, soaked in water overnight
- 1 meaty ham bone, or 2 cups chopped cooked ham
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish (optional)
1. Begin by preparing your ingredients. Rinse and drain the soaked beans, set aside. Dice the onion, slice the carrots and celery, and mince the garlic.
2. In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery, and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened and the onions are translucent.
3. Stir in the garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the soaked beans, ham bone, or chopped ham, and stir to combine.
4. Pour in the chicken broth and add the black pepper, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 1.5 – 2 hours, or until the beans are tender.
5. Remove the ham bone, if used, from the pot and let it cool slightly. Shred the meat from the bone, discarding any fat and bone, and return the shredded meat to the soup. If desired, adjust the seasonings to taste.
6. Ladle the Ham and Bean Soup into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley. Serve hot with crusty bread or a simple green salad.
Ham and Bean Soup: History and Curiosities
The origins of this scrumptious Ham and Bean Soup can be traced back to the European settlers in North America. It’s believed that this soup was created as an economical way to repurpose leftovers, such as ham from large family gatherings. Eventually, the dish gained popularity and became a staple in American and European households.
An interesting fact about Ham and Bean Soup is that it’s commonly prepared in the southern United States, especially during the New Year’s holiday. In Southern tradition, eating black-eyed peas and ham on New Year’s Day is believed to bring prosperity and good luck.
The Ham and Bean Soup is not only rich in taste, but it’s also packed with nutrients. Beans are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and essential minerals, while the ham adds savory, smoky flavors to the soup. Combined with the nutrients from the vegetables, this soup is both delicious and nutritious.
With its tasty, comforting flavors, it’s no wonder that Ham and Bean Soup has been enjoyed by generations of families. By following this simple recipe, you’ll have a remarkable, hearty dish that warms your heart and fills your stomach. So gather around the table and enjoy a steaming bowl of this classic soup, and let it warm your soul as it has done for so many throughout history.