This creamy Navy Bean and Ham Soup is the perfect way to warm up on a chilly day and clean out the freezer/pantry at the same time.
If it were summer I would have opted for some baked beans, but we have had a chilly wet spell the last few weeks here in drought parched California, so I wanted soup. And the ham bone from Christmas dinner was taking up too much space in the freezer.
You can make these with any beans, I happened to have dry navy beans on hand. You can use canned if you have that. And the same basic recipe can be used to make split pea soup.
I served it with homemade cornbread and we had a great dinner as well as a few lunches of leftovers for me. Mmmmm!
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Navy Bean and Ham Soup
- 1 pound dried navy beans (or 3-4 cans (15.5 ounce canned beans))
- ½ onion (chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3+ quarts water
- 1 ham bone with some meat still on the bone
- Soak beans overnight or perform a quick soak by putting beans in a large pot and covering with water 1 inch higher than the level of beans. Bring to a boil then turn off heat and let sit one hour.
- Drain the water from soaked or canned beans.
- In a large stock pot, heat the oil, onions and garlic over medium heat and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add softened beans, ham bone and 3 quarts of water. Bring to a boil then simmer for 1-2 hours until beans are very soft.
- Remove ham bone. Remove meat from bone and chop into small bits.
- Using a hand blender puree the beans until smooth adding additional water if too thick.
- If you don't have a hand blender you can pour the beans and water into a blender or food processor and puree in batches.
- Add ham to pureed beans and serve.
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