It’s happened. My freezer has hit maximum capacity. It’s actually probably over-stuffed, and I always find a reason to stick something else in there, so I’ve decided that it’s time to start reducing the volume in there. Honestly, it’s to the point where I don’t even know what’s contained within the small confines of my freezer, so I’m taking it upon myself to start using the treasures I uncover from within its depths (so I can keep adding to them, of course). The first item I decided to use was a ham bone that’s been chillin’ in there since, I don’t know, Christmas…
Now, ham bones are, indeed, treasures. They make soup taste awesome, with minimal effort on my part, so I’m a big fan. And it just so happens that my pantry contained a 2lb bag of Great Northern Beans that were just calling to be made into soup. So, kind spirit that I am, I obliged.
I rarely use my crock pot, but it exists for times like this. I pulled it out, dusted it off and started throwing together my delicious delicious ham and white bean soup. This recipe is great, because it’s pretty much the height of laziness. There’s no pre-sauteing of veg, browning of meat or soaking of beans. It’s pretty much a chop and toss kind of deal. Really, you chop up the veg, rinse the beans, picking out and weird ones as you go, and then just throw everything in the pot and let it do its thing. You don’t even have to break out an immersion blender at the end, because a good stir will break up enough of the beans to thicken the cooking liquid. And, of course, this all means that there is minimal washing up to do afterwards. Score.
And the result of all your (non) labor? A delicious, flavorful, hearty, healthy soup. Which I will now freeze in portions, completely negating the whole freeing up space in my freezer point of the entire exercise. C’est la vie.
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 C diced Yellow Onion (approx ½ large)
- 5 to 6 Garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Ham bone from spiral cut ham, with some meat still attached. If you don't have one of these, try using bone-in ham steaks or asking your butcher for a ham bone.
- 2 lbs dried Great Northern Beans
- 8 C Water
- 2 tsp dried Rosemary
- 1 tsp dried Herbs de Provence
- 1 no-salt added Vegetable bouillon cube - I like the brand Rapunzel, because they have all real, readable ingredients.
- 1 tsp Salt, a little less if you're sensitive to salt.
- ½ tsp ground Black Pepper
- If reheating the soup later on, you may need some additional water or stock to thin it out, as it thickens after sitting overnight.
- Set up your Crock Pot or slow cooker and set it to high.
- Add the olive oil, onions, garlic and ham.
- Rinse off the dried beans and pick through them to remove any stones or any funky or shriveled up beans.
- Add the beans to the pot, along with 8 C of water, or enough to cover the beans by about 2 inches.
- Toss in the rosemary, herbs de provence, bouillon cube, salt and pepper.
- Put the lid on the pot and then let it cook away on high for 5 hours, when you can check on it to stir and test the beans for tenderness. It will probably need another hour or so of cooking at that point.
- The soup is finished when the beans are tender and the cooking liquid starts to thicken if you give the pot a good stir (this breaks up some of the beans, but by and large leaves the rest of the beans intact).
- Remove the ham from the pot and discard any bones, gristle or other unpleasantness. Shred the remaining meat and add it back to the soup.
- Serve the soup and enjoy!
If this recipe set you a simmer, you may want to dip a spoon into these:
Pea and Lentil Soup with Ham | Peaches Please
Chilled Tomato Soup with Tabasco Granita | Peaches Please
Roasted Broccoli Soup with Cashews | Peaches Please
Easy Italian Orzo and White Bean Soup | Coffee and Quinoa
Potato, White Bean and Kale Vegan Soup | Tastes Lovely
Lemony Soup with White Beans and Kale | Flourishing Foodie