15 Bean and Ham Soup
photo by Faux Chef Lael
- Ready In:
- 4hrs 30mins
- 1 (20 ounce) package dry beans (I recommend Hurst 15 Bean blend, with included spice packet)
- 1 ham bone
- 2 1⁄2 cups ham, chopped
- 1 cup bacon bits (please use real bacon bits, not imitation salad topping)
- 5 large carrots, chopped, divided in half
- 3 stalks celery & leaves, chopped, divided in half
- 1 large onion, chopped, divided in half
- 10 cups chicken broth, divided
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 drops liquid smoke
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (or spicy brown)
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon ground rosemary
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
- 1 (12 ounce) can vegetable juice (V8)
- 2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes and green chilies (Rotel)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice (approximately 1 large lemon)
- Notes before you begin: Sort through your beans carefully and discard any small stones or debris, and any damaged beans. Rinse the beans with cool water. You have two options for preparing your beans before you cook them. You can either 1) soak them overnight in cold water, or 2) cover the beans with water, bring to a boil for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat, cover the beans and let rest for 70 minutes in the hot water. Drain the beans and add them to a large stock pot. Now your beans are ready to use.
- To your stock pot and beans, add the ham bone, chopped ham, bacon bits, half the onion, half the celery, half the carrots, and enough broth to cover 2 inches over the beans. Season with Worcestershire sauce, Liquid Smoke, Dijon mustard, chili powder, bay leaves, pepper, parsley, rosemary.
- Simmer uncovered over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 2.5 hours. Add more chicken broth as needed to keep beans covered.
- Remove the ham bone. Add diced tomatoes and chillies, vegetable juice, and remaining vegetables. Continue to simmer for 1 hour. Add more broth as needed.
- Add the seasoning packet that came with the dry beans. Add lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 30 minutes while you make cornbread, rice, or other side dishes. Remove bay leaves before serving.
- TIPS: It is important that you don't add acidic ingredients such as tomatoes or lemon juice until the end of the cooking process as noted above. Acid tends to affect cooking times and can make beans tough and chewy.
- Beans contain a natural sugar called Riffanose that is not digestible by the human body and can cause excess gas. One way to cut down on the gas is to cook a large, peeled potato with your beans for at least one hour. I cut the potato in half and add it during the first hour of cooking. Be sure to take it out and discard it. Eating it can make you sick to your stomach, as the potato absorbs a large percentage of the Riffanose.
- Finally, it's important to note that it takes several hours for the flavor of this soup to properly develop, so resist the urge to taste it until the last 30 minutes. Definitely do not add salt until the end because it tends to get saltier as the broth cooks out. If you find it to be too salty, add hot water. As with any soup or stew, the flavor is best the next day, so feel free to make ahead. This soup can be made in the crock pot, using a full 8 hours cooking time. It freezes well.
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RECIPE SUBMITTED BY
I'm an artist and I work from home, so I love to have the smell of something delicious cooking in the background while I'm working. Cooking is the way that I show love to my family and friends -- I get that from my Southern grandma, who always made amazing meals for our large extended family. Since I learned to cook from her, I always end up making meals that could feed a small army. Down home, old fashioned, comfort foods that make lots of leftovers are my specialty. I love to eat any kind of ethnic food but I'm just learning to cook from different cultures. My favorite place in the world is New Orleans, so I love to make Cajun and Creole food. I call myself the Faux Chef because I don't have the talent to be a chef but I try really hard. My problem is, I never measure anything (thanks, Grandma!) which makes me TERRIBLE at baking.