Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ham-Bone Soup

Do you ever have that bag of beans you don't know what to do with?? You know your supposed to eat them right?! There supposed to be healthy for ya-so we all been told. Well every year after the New Year- I try and make Ham-Bone soup as its called in my family. We always slice all the yummy ham away for sandwiches and leftover plates.. but by the end of it your sick of ham. Or so you thought. Save that bone with little extra meat left on it.

Really simple to make. You can either do it in your Crock-pot (as I am today) or do it in a big pot on the stove.

What you'll need is:
  • Ham-Bone with some meat left behind from that ham dinner (you might be able to find it from your local store or butcher)
  • Bag of  Beans. Your choice.. haven't found a bean you can't do this with? Today I had a bag of mixed beans and partial left bag of pintos 
  • Seasonings..this is a bit up to you. In our house garlic, onion powder, rosemary (just a tad), parsley, salt and pepper go in. The amounts are really up to you.

Now if you choose to do the pan method you will want to soak over night or rapid boil beans to start. If your doing Crock-pot method you will not need to prepare the beans ahead of time, except if your not home while cooking or you want to have a faster cook time. See below for Crock-pot instructions regarding beans.

Crock-Pot Method: If you are not going to be home while cooking your meal please do the prep work for your beans ahead of time for your meal. So either for quickness (reducing the time to 6 hrs of cooking) or low heat for 8hrs pre-soak or rapid boil your beans. If you will be home, then you can choose this method. After rinsing your beans put them into your crock-pot and cover the beans with about 6- 8 cups of water place ham-bone down in the pot as you see in the above picture.(This pic has been on high for about hour so you can see it simmering the beans) Place your seasonings in to your beans according to your liking. If you know you don't like some of what I mention above omit them. If there is something like a bay leaf or others add it in. Always remember less is more, you can go back after the beans have cooked and add a little more salt & pepper. Cook on High for at least 4hrs and Medium for the next 4. By this time you should know if you soup is beginning to take shape. *If you don't have Medium setting on your crock-pot please cook on high for 5-6 and last 2-3 on low* Pull ham- bone out of soup at this point to a plate. If all meat hasn't come off the bone, wait until cooled to the touch and pull meat off of the bone and put that yumminess back into your soup. Stir soup and you should be good to go.

Big Pot way: Follow instructions on bag as to how you want to pre-soak or rapid boil.
Then add back in to the beans what is called for water amount on the package -usually about 6 cups, add ham-bone and seasonings. As stated above choose to or not to add more or less seasonings according to your taste. Bring to a simmer and turn down heat to low to medium heat. Cook for about 2-4 hrs until you get the consistency you want of your soup. At this point remove ham bone, your soup should be full of flavor and all the extra meat should of fallen off the bone by this point. If it hasn't you may wait till the bone is cooled enough to pull the meat off and stir it back into your bean soup.

I like to serve my soup with either fresh biscuits or cornbread-choice is yours. Tonight I will be serving it with biscuits.
Will take pictures tonight of my soup and post tomorrow for your eyes to enjoy!
Until then
~ Corey