The weather has turned cold again and with rain added to the upcoming forecast, this weekend is going to be perfect for a hearty, warm soup. This batch was made with the leftovers from our New Years ham but any chunk of ham will do. I can’t get past the ugliness of ham hocks so I never use them. If you can stand looking at them, go right ahead because they’d be great here. No ham? Try bacon instead.
As usual, I was cooking for a crowd so I made a lot. Most of you will probably want to halve this recipe.
- Navy Beans, 2 pounds, dry
- Ham Bone with some meat still on it (or Ham Hocks)
- Yellow Onions, 2
- Celery, 6 or 7 ribs
- Carrots, 4 or 5
- Garlic, 2 or 3 cloves
- Bay Leaves, 2
- Coarse Ground Black Pepper
Rinse the beans and put them in a large stock pot, along with the ham. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Cover and let them simmer on very low heat for a couple of hours, until the beans begin to get tender. Don’t stir because it’ll only break up the beans and turn them into mush. Meanwhile, slice the celery.Slice the onion into thin rings and crush the garlic cloves.Peel and slice the carrots.Once the beans are beginning to soften, add the vegetables, bay leaves, salt to taste and a generous amount of coarse ground black pepper. Gently stir it all together and let it simmer for another 45 minutes to an hour.Pull the ham off the bone and remove the bone.Let it sit for a few minutes before serving.
I know many of you just laugh at my thin-blooded Floridian’s idea of cold weather but what are your favorite dishes on cold winter nights?