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Cooking within a tight grocery budget? Let me tell ya, this soup is the bomb. It’s not only cheap thanks to the beans, but it’s also very filling and boasts a rich savory flavor thanks to the ham.
I created this new Ham and Bean Soup recipe after Thanksgiving as a way to use up the leftover ham for my Uncle Rich, who won’t touch turkey with a 10-foot pole. What makes this soup so simple is the use of a nine-bean soup mix that you’ll find in the bean aisle of most grocery stores. Just be sure to follow the package directions, because YOU WILL NEED TO SOAK THE BEANS a few hours or even a day beforehand. That’s about the most complicated part of all this, which isn’t complicated at all. Soaking the beans just requires a wee bit of planning.
Make this recipe before winter passes, because it’s one of those soups you need to sip on while watching the snowflakes fall outside your window. Add a hunk of crusty bread alongside it, and you’ll feel that all is right in the world for those 10 minutes. It’s true.
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- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- a pinch of red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 64 oz (2 cartons) chicken broth
- 4 cups water
- 1–2 cups ham steaks, cubed
- 1 lb soup bean mix (Soak first according to package directions.)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 lb bag of carrots, peeled and sliced
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- In a large stock pot, saute onions in olive oil. Add garlic, red pepper, and season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Add chicken stock, water, ham, beans, and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Lower heat, put on a lid (keep it tilted for venting), and simmer for 1 hour. Stir occasionally. Add more stock or water, if it reduces too much.
- Taste broth and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add carrots. Simmer another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the bay leaves.
- Garnish a bowl of soup with some fresh chopped parsley. Serve with crusty bread.
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.
Either thaw in the fridge overnight and warm up over low heat on the stovetop or in a crockpot.