Although it’s hot and humid in these parts, I decided to make ham and bean soup tonight. How could I refuse my 4-year-old who requested beans for dinner? Plus, did you know beans are considered a “superfood” now because of all their health benefits?
This Ham and Bean Soup turned out quite hardy and delicious and would be perfect for a cold winter day. (Update: My parents tested this for me on 8/3/14 and confirmed that it’s absolutely delicious!) In addition to the nutritional benefits of a soup like this, it’s unbelievably cheap! This is my estimated cost.
Bag of soup beans: $1.25
Bacon pieces: $.75
Organic vegetable stock: $2.50
3 large organic carrots: $.75
1/2 onion: $.50
Ham bones: free (from freezer; leftover from Christmas ham!)
Parsley: free from garden
Total = $5.75 ($1.44 per serving)
I added a loaf of organic bread and watermelon from the farmer’s market to our dinner tonight. The entire meal cost about $10 to feed four people. So, you can see why I don’t mind serving bean soup in the summer.
Lastly, don’t forget you can freeze this soup for later. Looking for more freezer meals? Here are 60+ Healthy Freezer Meal Recipes that you’ll love!
- 1 lb bag of soup beans (a mix of different kinds of beans)
- 32 oz carton of vegetable stock
- 2 cups water (I used filtered)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 ham bone or a ham steak containing bone
- ½ cup onion, chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 large organic carrots, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
- 4-6 pieces of bacon, cooked, torn into pieces for garnish
- 1) Follow directions on bean package for rinsing and soaking. (Note: It's easiest to soak them overnight, but there is a 2 hour quick method if you need it.)
- 2) Combine first seven ingredients (through ham bone) in a large pot and bring to a simmer. Lower heat, put on a lid (keep it tilted for venting), and simmer for 1 hour. Stir occasionally.
- 3) Taste broth and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add carrots. Simmer another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- 4) Remove the bay leaves, ham bone and the garlic (if you can find it; I think mine just melted into the soup). (Note: if you subbed a ham steak, remove the bone, shred and leave in the ham pieces)
- 5) Garnish a bowl of soup with one piece of bacon and some fresh parsley. Serve with crusty bread.
- To freeze and prepare later, simply fully cook the soup, let it cool completely, and freeze in a BPA-free gallon freezer bag or other air-tight freezable container for up to 3 months. To thaw, either thaw in the fridge overnight and warm up. Or warm on the stove over low heat or in the crock pot from frozen, stirring periodically.