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Our favorite soup from childhood. Start with leftover ham, make some ham stock, and away you go. A pound or so of leftover ham will be perfect. If youíre starting with our homemade ham stock, no additional spices are needed, as the stock is rich and flavorful. If you are starting from scratch, using a ham shank, add 1/2 tsp. each of THYME, SAVORY and MARJORAM, along with 2 BAY LEAVES and 1 tsp. BLACK PEPPERCORNS. This combination is great for split pea soup, too

  • 2-3 quarts ham stock (or 2-3 quarts water simmered with 1 ham shank for 1 hour)
  • 1 lb. dry white beans, northern or navy beans
  • 1 medium onion, peeled, ends removed, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, peeled, ends removed, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, peeled, ends removed, minced
  • 1 lb. ham, diced (3-4 Cups)
  • 2 carrots, peeled, ends removed, diced
  • 4 medium potatoes, diced (about 4 Cups)
  • 1 tsp. salt (optionalasome hams are salty, so the soup wonít need any extra taste at the end and add salt as desired)

Soak beans in a big bowl of cold water overnight. Before you start cooking, pick out any floaters and skins that rise to the top, rinse well. Bring ham stock to a simmer, add beans, onions and celery, cook at a simmer over medium-low heat for 1/2 hours. Donít boil the soup, as all the beans will jump their skins and turn to mush. Dissolving some of the beans into the soup is fine, and will give bean soup its distinctive pinkish color, but most of the beans should stay whole. After 1/2 hours, add the diced ham, minced carrots and diced potatoes. If using a ham shank, now is the time to take it out, remove the meat and add that to the soup. Simmer the soup for at least another 30 minutes, until the potatoes and carrots are tender. Serve with bread for dipping and a peppermill on the side, as bean soup tastes best with freshly ground BLACK PEPPER on top.

Yield: 2-3 quarts soup
Prep. time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours

Thyme French .3 oz. 1/4 cup jar
Savory Leaves .3 oz. 1/4 cup jar
Marjoram .2 oz. 1/4 cup jar
Bay Leaf Whole 1/2 oz. bag
Whole Tellicherry Indian Black Peppercorns 2.2 oz. 1/2 cup jar

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