So did you make a ham for Easter? We spent the evening on Good Friday with some friends catching up and having a little impromptu cooking lesson. The delicious ham from a few posts back was on the menu. It turned out beautifully once again--I'm telling you, this is one easy recipe. As long as you don't crank the heat way up, it is quite foolproof!
Lucky for me, I came home with the bone (and a whole lot of meat...hams feed an army). It's been sitting in my fridge for a couple of days awaiting a trip to the store for a bag of beans. Last year I bought a giant assortment of beans at Costco...a rather lovely mixture including a really cool purplish bean. But, alas, I'm finally out.
I settled for a mere 15 bean assortment. They're soaking as I type. Tomorrow, they will be transformed into a fantastic bean soup.
Hearty Bean (and Ham) Soup
2 cups assorted beans
1 ham hock, I like it with some meat on it!
2 1/2 qts water
1 onion, diced
1 large can of tomatoes
1 TB chili powder (or adjust to taste)
1 tsp garlic powder or 1 garlic clove, minced
2 carrots, chopped
1. Wash the beans and rinse in a colander. They always say to check for pebbles, but I've never found one! Drain. Put the beans in a large pot and cover with water. Allow to soak overnight to rehydrate the beans.
2. The next day, drain the beans, then add the 2 1/2 qts water plus the ham hock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 2 1/2-3 hours.
3. Add the remaining ingredients, simmering 30 minutes more. Add salt to taste (it may take a tsp or more but be careful in case your ham was really salty!). And this soup can be frozen to enjoy later.
Of course, if ham and bean soup isn't what you like, you can always use the leftovers in sandwiches, omelets, or Smoky Ham and Corn Chowder, a recipe in this month's Food & Wine magazine.