The flavors in this bean soup remind me of the bean soup my grandmother used to make on our farm in Ohio when I was a young girl. I love to make it during the winter months -- it doesn't last long. My daughter is now making it for her family as well. Maybe it's called "Neighborhood" bean soup because the neighbors love it when I make it -- it's a wonderful soup to share with special friends. It is great served wtih a nice piece of hot corn bread. I can't remember exactly where I found the recipe -- but I'm glad I have it and I hope you will feel the same.
- 2 cups dried great northern beans
- 5 cups chicken broth (low sodium is best)
- 3 cups water
- 1 large meaty ham bone (I use 2 or 3 smoked ham hocks)
- 2 -3 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
- 1⁄4 teaspoon rubbed sage
- 1⁄4 teaspoon dried savory
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped (I also put in a handful of the chopped celery leaves)
- 1 large potato, cut into cubes (optional, but very good)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Place beans in a Dutch oven or soup kettle; add water to cover by 2”.
- Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain.
- Add broth, water, ham bone, bouillon and seasonings; bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 2 hours (I find I usually add at least an hour to this).
- Sauté’ onions, carrots and celery in oil; add to soup along with cubed potato (if using).
- Cover and simmer 1 hour longer.
- Debone ham and cut into chunks; return to soup.
- Skim fat (I find I don’t have any to skim).
- I like to mash some of the beans once they get soft. My total cooking time is more like 6 hours than 4 hours.
- Great served with corn bread.