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Hambone and Navy Bean Soup

Updated on December 27, 2015

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A Soup Hearty Enough to Be Called a Meal (and Satisfy Like One, Too!)

Here's the thing. Except for a grilled cheese sandwich with a bowl of Campbell's Tomato Soup, I never liked soup. Not when I was growing up. Not in my 20s or 30s, either. I never felt that soup was satisfying enough to be called a main course. After all, it's watery and light, and I've always been a meat and potatoes (or rice) kind of girl. And don't go telling me how healthy it is and how all I need to add is a salad and some cornbread or crusty Italian bread!

In my very first hub, Noni's Zucchini Soup (http://hubpages.com/food/Recipes-from-My-ItalianCubanAmerican-Childhood), I wrote...

"The fact that this little kid hated the taste of her soup soooo much that she would rather bear the wrath of Noni than eat the soup told her just how bad I thought it was!"

I don't think I've ever been happier that I didn't understand Italian than at that time in my life. I'm not sure what she would think of me now; now that I love her soup!!

So What Happened?

Well, sometime in my 30s I started making soups for my family. Mostly because I liked experimenting with different foods or because someone was sick and I firmly believed in the old Jewish Medicine/Chicken Soup saying.

They say that if you don't like something you can't make it well. I'm here to tell you that it's just not true. I made (stop me if you've heard this one before) THE BEST CHICKEN SOUP IN THE WORLD!!!! But I would rarely eat any...and definitely not as a whole meal.

For me the best part of making soup was throwing different things together and making something out of it, and hearing others tell me that they loved it. Though, I could never make it the same way again because I never wrote anything down!

That's why I'm writing these hubs. I'm trying to put my recipes into some form that my children can follow when they ask me how to make something they remember from their childhood. Saying a little of this or a handful of that can be rather frustrating for a new cook.

Soup Lover!

But, thankfully, people change, and hopefully, grow. In my 40s and beyond I have really started enjoying soups. All kinds. Beef Barley, Mushroom Barley, Zucchini Soup, Potato Soup, Chicken Soup, Broccoli Cheese Soup, Tomato Basil, Bean Soup, and the list goes on.

But my favorite soup to make and eat, by far, is any kind of bean soup with a ham bone. I never make it the same way twice and that's okay. Sometimes all I will add is a ham bone, beans, onions, garlic, salt and pepper, and a bay leaf. Other times I will add all kinds of veggies. Occasionally, I will add a 28 oz can of whole or diced tomatoes. Any bean soup with a ham bone is hearty and filling.

My recipe follows. Feel free to leave out whatever you don't like or add whatever veggies or beans you have on hand.

Step By Step Instructions

This is what you need: Dried Navy Beans, water, meaty ham bone, extra ham chunks (optional), bay leaves, garlic, water,  parsley, celery,  carrots, onions, potatoes, mixed greens, salt and pepper to taste.
This is what you need: Dried Navy Beans, water, meaty ham bone, extra ham chunks (optional), bay leaves, garlic, water, parsley, celery, carrots, onions, potatoes, mixed greens, salt and pepper to taste.
Start with large stockpot and 2 pounds of dried navy beans.
Start with large stockpot and 2 pounds of dried navy beans.
Add navy beans to large stockpot. Cover with 12 cups of hot water, bring to rapid boil and boil for 2 minutes, Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for one hour. Then drain soak water and rinse beans well.
Add navy beans to large stockpot. Cover with 12 cups of hot water, bring to rapid boil and boil for 2 minutes, Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for one hour. Then drain soak water and rinse beans well.
Add one meaty ham bone and an extra 1-2 cups of ham chunks (optional) to pot.
Add one meaty ham bone and an extra 1-2 cups of ham chunks (optional) to pot.
Return well-rinsed beans to pot.
Return well-rinsed beans to pot.
Add enough water to cover meat and beans plus 1-2 inches more, add 3 or 4 large cloves of garlic-smashed, and bring to rapid boil, then simmer for 2-3 hours. Remove meat from bone, chop any large chunks of meat, and return to pot.
Add enough water to cover meat and beans plus 1-2 inches more, add 3 or 4 large cloves of garlic-smashed, and bring to rapid boil, then simmer for 2-3 hours. Remove meat from bone, chop any large chunks of meat, and return to pot.
Chop 1/2 of a bunch of curly or Italian parsley.
Chop 1/2 of a bunch of curly or Italian parsley.
Chop 6-7 ribs of celery into bite size pieces.
Chop 6-7 ribs of celery into bite size pieces.
Scrub 2 large carrots and chop into bite size pieces. (Resist any urge to peel the carrots. The peel is nutrient rich.)
Scrub 2 large carrots and chop into bite size pieces. (Resist any urge to peel the carrots. The peel is nutrient rich.)
Roughly chop 2 large onions. I use Vidalia, but yellow or white will also do.
Roughly chop 2 large onions. I use Vidalia, but yellow or white will also do.
Peel and chop 2-3 large potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes. All purpose white potatoes are best, but you can use whatever you have on hand.
Peel and chop 2-3 large potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes. All purpose white potatoes are best, but you can use whatever you have on hand.
Roughly chop 1-2 cups of mixed greens. I usually buy a bag of Power Greens because it contains baby spinach, bok choy, and red and green chard. But sometimes I will use a mix of baby spinach and kale.
Roughly chop 1-2 cups of mixed greens. I usually buy a bag of Power Greens because it contains baby spinach, bok choy, and red and green chard. But sometimes I will use a mix of baby spinach and kale.
Add all the veggies, and salt and pepper to taste to the stock pot. Don't add too much salt as the ham is salty. You can always add more salt and pepper to your serving.
Add all the veggies, and salt and pepper to taste to the stock pot. Don't add too much salt as the ham is salty. You can always add more salt and pepper to your serving.
Bring to a boil, then simmer for another 30-40 minutes more. Until carrots, celery, and potatoes are tender.
Bring to a boil, then simmer for another 30-40 minutes more. Until carrots, celery, and potatoes are tender.
Taa Daa. It's done. (Remember to remove the bay leaves and discard.) Now is the time for that corn bread or crusty Italian bread. Skip the salad. Everything you need is in the soup. Enjoy! :-)
Taa Daa. It's done. (Remember to remove the bay leaves and discard.) Now is the time for that corn bread or crusty Italian bread. Skip the salad. Everything you need is in the soup. Enjoy! :-)

Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 4 hours 30 min
Ready in: 4 hours 50 min
Yields: Approximately 10 Quarts

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds Navy Beans, dried
  • 1 ham bone
  • 1-2 cups ham chunks, optional
  • water
  • 3-4 large cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 bunch curly or Italian parsley, fresh, roughly chopped
  • 6-7 ribs celery, chopped, bite size
  • 2 large carrots, unpeeled, chopped, bite size
  • 2 large onions, vidalia, white, or yellow, roughly chopped
  • 3 large potatoes, all purpose white, chopped in 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1-2 cups mixed greens, roughly chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Cooking Instructions

  1. Take 2 lbs Navy Beans, dried and place in large stockpot. Cover with 12 cups hot water. Bring to rapid boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for one hour. Drain water and rinse beans well.
  2. Place ham bone, ham chunks, and well-rinsed beans in pot. Add enough water to cover food, plus about 2 inches more. Add the smashed garlic.
  3. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 2-3 hours.
  4. Meanwhile, chop veggies for later.
  5. Remove ham bone from pot. Remove meat when cooled a little, chop meat and return to pot. Discard bone.
  6. Add veggies to pot, add salt and pepper to taste. Bring back to boil, then simmer, covered for 30-40 minutes more, until carrots, celery, and potatoes are tender.
  7. Remember to remove bay leaves and discard before serving.

© 2015 Joy Roma

Comments

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    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 

      2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      wow, you know bones makes flavorful soup

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