The weather was actually cool here in Phoenix this week …. as in, it was in the 80’s! 🙂 I really wanted some good, old-fashioned food like my gramma made – and this Ham and Bean Soup sounded like it would hit the spot.
I swear my gramma made the best food. As a child, I remember being mesmerized by the smells coming from her kitchen – and waiting in anticipation for dinner. My gramma was one of those kinds of people that would chase us kids out of her kitchen – she would tell us to go play outside – or go in the other room. LOL. Just thinking about it kinda makes me laugh – I remember finding my way back in there to watch her – and usually, as long as I stayed out of her way, she never said anything about me having to leave again.
In December, my gramma would be gone for 17 years. I miss her every single day – and I am so thankful for the opportunity to have those moments in her kitchen. Much of what I “know” in the kitchen has come from her or my mom.
I remember watching my gramma make Ham & Bean Soup …. she would get out her big pot and dump the beans in there. Then, she would sift through them – looking for rocks, beans that just looked bad or beans that mistakenly got in the wrong bag. Sometimes, we would have little smokies in place of the ham – but no matter what, it always turned out perfectly.
Oh – and I always grew up eating this with diced onion on the top – it’s how my gramma did it. If that’s not your thing, it’s completely optional – of course! Be sure to serve this with some Southern Cornbread on the side – yummmmo!
Ham and Bean Soup
Yield: 6-8 servings
1 bag (1 lb. or 16 oz.) dried Great Northern beans
½ lb. ham, diced
6-8 cups chicken broth or water
Chopped onions for serving, optional
Rinse the beans, sorting out any rocks, or broken or discolored beans.
Slow Cooker method: Soak the beans in water overnight. In the morning, drain the beans and discard the water. Add the beans, ham and 6 cups of broth to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH for 8-10 hours. Add more broth or water if necessary. If you prefer a creamier soup, you can mash some of the beans.
Stove Top method: In the morning, put the beans in a large soup pot. Cover with water and allow to soak until about 2 hours before dinner. Drain the beans and discard the water. Return the beans to the pot and add 6 cups of chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about an hour. Add the ham and continue to cook for another 30 minutes to an hour or until the beans are tender. If you prefer a creamier soup, you can mash some of the beans.
To serve, top the beans with chopped onions (optional) and be sure to add some cornbread on the side!
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