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The Best Ham & Bean Soup You’ll Ever Eat
This bean soup is simple in construction but rich in flavor. The secret? The long cooking time. I guarantee that this is like no ham and bean soup you’ve ever had. The combination of dried herbs fuse together a complex layer of flavors. The large butter lima beans and potato provide a hearty and thick texture that is complimented by the soft, tender, long cooked ham. This simple recipe has been handed down in my family for generations, but it has been a closely guarded family secret…until now, that is.
- 1 lb (0.45kg) dried large lima beans
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 large potato, peeled and minced
- 1 carrot, peeled and minced
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 lbs (0.9kg) boneless ham, cut into 1" cubes
- 4 large potatoes, cut into 1/2" cubes
- 4-6 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
- fresh ground black pepper
- Soak the beans in a 6 quart pot for 8-12 hours. The water should be salted with the kosher salt, and the water level should be approximately 3 inches (7cm) above the top of the beans.
- Drain the salt water and refill the pot to 3/4 full.
- Over medium-high heat, add the peeled, diced potato, the handful of minced baby carrots, parsley, oregano, red pepper, olive oil, and ham. Bring to a boil.
- Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 2 hours stirring every 15 minutes.
- Add the remaining potato and carrots. Return to a boil.
- Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 additional hour.
- To serve, scoop into bowls and top with fresh parley and fresh ground black pepper.
|Serving size: 357 grams|
|Calories from Fat||99|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 11 g||17%|
|Saturated fat 3 g||15%|
|Carbohydrates 65 g||22%|
|Sugar 5 g|
|Fiber 23 g||92%|
|Protein 28 g||56%|
|Cholesterol 52 mg||17%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
How to Not Screw It Up
- It’s best if you let the beans soak in the salt water overnight. This process re-hydrates the dried beans, and you don’t want to short change the re-hydration process. Much of the beans cook away and become the broth, so if the beans are not properly re-hydrated, you’ll end up with watery broth and not the rich, thick, flavorful broth we’re after.
- I recommend that you finely mince the peeled potato and first handful of carrots. The smaller the pieces, the more likely they are to melt away during the 2 hour simmer–which is what we want. The more they cook into the broth, the more flavorful, thicker, and richer it becomes.
- Don’t get lazy and forget to stir. This soup needs to be stirred every 15-20 minutes. Otherwise, you will burn beans and ham the bottom of the pot. Not only does that not taste good, but it’s hell to clean.