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Slow-Simmered Ham and Bean Soup

January 29, 2012

Slow-Simmered Ham and Bean Soup

It’s been a pretty busy couple of weeks here in the old homestead. I am finishing my off week between jobs, and my first day at my new job is tomorrow! I am a little nervous, but keeping an open mind for whatever is coming. This is only the first of many big changes in our life so I guess I should get used to being in flux for the foreseeable future.

I had been eyeing this recipe for quite a while and finally made some time to cook it this week. It requires a lot of prep and cooking time, so read ahead and plan for it when making your menu for the week. It was certainly worth the wait, and tasted absolutely wonderful. On top of the great flavors, it gets naturally thickened from the beans and pork fat from the ham hocks. This was simply amazing, needed very little active work, and was worth every hour. Enjoy!

Slow-Simmered Ham and Bean Soup (Serves 10+)

Adapted from

  • One 1 lb. dried 16 bean mix (such as Goya)
  • 2 ham hocks (the meatier the better)
  • 2 thick ham steaks, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 5 large carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4″ rounds
  • One 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • One 12 oz. can vegetable juice (such as V8)
  • 10-12 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp. dried parsley
  • juice of one lemon
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. Place beans in a large bowl and cover with water. Let soak overnight, adding more water if you need to keep them covered. Drain and rinse.
  2. Place beans in a large pot and cover with water, at least by one inch and bring to a boil. Drop the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Add all other ingredients, with just enough broth to cover ingredients. Bring to a boil and then simmer for at least 8 hours. Add more broth as necessary until you’re happy with it.
  4. 15 minutes before service, remove bay leaves and ham hocks. Pull as much edible ham from the hocks as possible and put back into the soup. Simmer for a few minutes longer and serve with your favorite hot sauce.
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