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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

(Leftover Christmas) Ham and Bean Soup

Ok, I'll admit it. I've been a little obsessed with beans lately. It's only because they are so healthy and cheap.

So I decided to make some ham and bean soup with some leftover Christmas ham.

Step 1: Sweetly convince your mother-in-law to give you the ham bone. Her ham is the best ham ever, so this step is very important.

Once you've completed that step, the rest is pretty easy.

I don't have a lot of pictures of the process, mostly because I threw it all in the crock pot before work this morning.

Ham and Bean Soup
1 leftover ham bone
1 bag (1 lb) pinto beans
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper
1 cup cooked ham
10 cups water
Salt and Pepper to taste

First, rinse your beans and soak in several inches of water overnight.

In the morning, drain the water and add the beans to the crock pot. I had to break out my GIANT (as in, about 8 quarts) crock pot to fit this ham bone (and I still had to break part of it off).

Add the onions and garlic on top of the beans. I used some leftover ham into the soup too, so add that, along with the red pepper flakes.

Put the water on top, then add salt and pepper to taste. I know from experience of just cooking beans in the crock pot that it takes several inches of water just to cook beans. I wanted my beans to be broth-y, so I added a few more inches on top of that.

Turn the crock pot on low and let that cook for about 8-10 hours.

After it's been cooking, take the ham bone out. It will look a little like this:

Give that a few minutes to cool, then separate the ham from the bone. You will have to pick through the fat to get to the meat.

Mix that back into the soup and then it's all ready! 

Serve with a nice hunk of homemade bread from your mom and you are good to go!