Yum! This soup is definitely going to become a favorite, especially during the winter. After planning on experimenting with ham broth for years, I finally did last week! I looked at several ideas on the internet, pulled several recipes together, and this is the result. Soups are fun because they don't require an exact recipe, so I can throw in a bit of this and a bit of that :). It was Sister Dear's idea to add the green beans.
Ham and Bean Soup
1 ham bone (use one that was not picked completely clean)
1 lb dried Great Northern Beans (or 1 lb dried beans of your choice)
1 c chopped carrots
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
dash of pepper
1 cup green beans, chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 c chopped, cooked ham (optional)
Cover ham bone with water in a stock pot. Turn burner to high, and let it all come to a boil. Simmer for a few hours. Remove ham bone and discard. Strain broth and refrigerate overnight.
Soak beans in water overnight. This will allow them to start to sprout, adding extra nutrition.
The next morning, skim off fat from broth, return to burner and turn to high, adding beans. Reserve the bean soaking water to add later. Allow broth and beans to come to a boil and allow to gently boil for a while, adding carrots, onion, garlic, and pepper. I allow the broth to boil down, and gradually added the bean water in place of the evaporated water. This way I get all the nutrition from the bean water, without making the soup too liquidy. Simmer for desired length of time. Shortly before serving, add the green beans and the ham.
Good served with biscuits or corn bread.
Note: I glaze hams before cooking, which may make a difference in the taste of the broth. To glaze one ham, I mix one cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup honey, and 2 hefty squirts of prepared mustard into a paste and spread over a ham which I have previously scored.