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
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 large organic carrots, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
- 4-6 pieces of bacon, cooked, torn into pieces for garnish
- ) 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.)
- ) 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.
- ) Taste broth and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add carrots. Simmer another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- ) 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)
- ) 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.