Ham & Bean Soup

This is an edible memory for me. My Mom made this soup on cool fall days and in the heart of blustery Iowa winters… always at just the right time. A hamhock slow cooked with all the aromatics, potatoes and beans is the perfect combination for a soup that eats like a meal.

Start by soaking a bag of dry beans in a bowl of cold water with a little salt and baking soda. Rumor has it the baking soda helps cut on the gas factor… you be the judge 🙂 After these have been soaking for an hour or two drop your ham hock/ham shank into a crock pot. Start prepping your other ingredients.

Slice up some celery.

Rough chop some baby carrots or slice up some whole peeled carrots.

Dice a small onion.

Dice up a little garlic.

Peel up some potatoes and chop into bite sized pieces.

And now my favorite part… drain your soup beans and just take a minute to admire them…

Look at the colors, the shapes, the diversity… the beauty!! I know I’m a bit odd but this is one of my favorite food shots so far… would make a great jigsaw puzzle, huh 😉  OK, moving on…

Dump all of the above into the crock pot with the ham hock, season generously with salt and pepper, and cover with water. This is one full crock pot!!

I let mine cook for about 6 hours on low. The house smelled AMAZING!!!! You know your ham is done when it is practically bursting off the bone like this. Cut away the fat cut/shred the meat into bite sized bits. Toss back into the crock pot.

Give this all a stir and taste to check seasonings.

Get a big ole bowl out and fill ‘er up! I wanted to make up some fresh corn bread or buns but chose to go to a movie instead 😉 Ha! But… that would have been tasty! The beans, potatoes, and ham make this super hearty. The salty broth complements all the veggies and beans… it’s kinda one of my favorite soups… can you tell?!? Try it when this fall weather heads your way!

Ham & Bean Soup
1 large ham hock/ham shank
3 stalks celery, sliced
2 cups carrots, sliced
1 small onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, diced
3-5 potatoes, peeled & chopped to bite sized pieces
1 bag dry soup beans
Salt & Pepper

Soak beans in large bowl covered in cold water. Add 1 tsp each salt and baking soda, stir, let sit for a couple hours or until they start to look “prune” like. Put ham hock in large crock pot. Add in all other ingredients, season generously with salt and pepper. Cover with water. Let cook on low 6-8 hours or until meat starts to peel away from bone. Remove ham hock and pick off meat. Cut or shred into bite sized pieces, return to crock pot. Taste to check seasonings. Serve hot with cornbread or warm bread!

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