Ham and navy bean soup

January 8, 2012 § 1 Comment

We look forward to ham, because we love the leftovers that come afterwards.  We use it in casseroles, place it minced on top of baked potatoes with cheese and sour cream, enjoy it sliced in sandwiches, and saute it with eggs for breakfast.  Then, when there’s just a little meat left on the bone, we make ham and navy bean soup.

I always cook it in the crockpot.  I like that we can leave the house in the morning, and come back home many hours later to a lovely hot meal.  Here’s how we make it:

Ham and navy bean soup

1 pound dried navy beans

1 ham bone with some meat still attached

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

2 cups chicken broth

water

1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence

Wash and sort the beans.  Place them in the bottom of the crockpot.  Break the ham bone apart at the joint, and place the pieces over the beans.  Add the bay leaf, salt, pepper, and garlic.  Pour over the 2 cups chicken broth (or a can of chicken broth if you don’t have any already made).  Pour water over the beans, until it comes to within 2 inches of the top.  Place the lid on the crockpot, and place it in the refrigerator overnight.

In the morning, remove the crock from the refrigerator, and place it into the heating receptacle.  Pour in water to about an inch from the top, and place the lid firmly upon the crock.  Cook on LOW all day (or at least 8 hours), while you’re shopping at IKEA’s post-Christmas sale, buying all sorts of stuff that you don’t really need.

About an hour before you’re ready to eat, remove the meat and ham bones from the pot, and set aside to cool (I usually put a few icecubes over it in a bowl to hasten the process).  Discard the fat and bones, and return the meat to the pot.  Add water to within about an inch from the pot.  Adjust seasonings, and add the Herbs de Provence; set pot on high and cook for a half hour or so while you furtively run around all over the house, and hide your IKEA purchases in various closets so your spouse doesn’t have an opportunity to wonder why you bought 17 rolls of red wrapping paper.

Serve with garlic bread that your husband makes because he sees the soup and wants to give you a break because it’s so rich and fabulous he’ll automatically think you’ve been cooking all day, and he’ll want to give you a break (plus, he’s on to the IKEA wrapping paper, but he’s such a nice guy that he ignores your little follies).

Dave’s garlic bread

4 ciabatta buns

Hellman’s mayonnaise (not diet)

Garlic salt

pinch red pepper flakes

Basil*

Garlic Powder

Grated romano or parmesan cheese

Split the ciabatta buns, and lay them flat on a cutting board.  Spread the halves liberally with the mayonnaise.  Sprinkly very lightly with the garlic salt, then the red pepper flakes, basil, and garlic powder.  Add a dash of grated cheese.

Place the halves under the boiler, and heat until melted and bubbly, watching carefully to ensure that they do not burn.

*Dave says to tell you that the basil is OPTIONAL.  I like it, but he says that basil completely unnecessary.  I’ll let you be the judge.

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