- 1 package Navy or White Beans
- 1 Ham Bone, with meat on it (leftovers)
- 4 slices of bacon, cut into small pieces
- 2 Tb Flour
- 2 Tb Butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 stalks celery, chopped (leftovers)
- 2 carrots, shredded (leftovers)
- 1 small or 1/2 large green bell pepper, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 2 fresh bay leaves or 4 dried
- 1/2 tsp black pepper, plus a dash
- ham, cubed (leftovers) optional
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
The night before you plan to make this soup empty the package of Navy Beans in a large bowl and cover with water. Let these set out, covered over night. The next day:
Rinse beans thoroughly, pick out stones and noticeably bad beans.
In a large stock pot melt the butter over medium-high heat, add bacon and cook until crispy. Sprinkle the flour over the bottom of the pot with a dash of black pepper. Stir constantly until the roux has browned to a light chocolate-brown color. Add onions, celery, carrots, bell peppers and garlic and continue to saute for about 4 minutes until the vegetables become fragrant. Add beans and chicken broth to the pot and stir well. The liquid needs to be at least 1″ above the beans, it may be necessary to add water to do this. Add the thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Bring pot to a boil.
Add the Ham Bone with meat on it, cover pot and simmer over low for 3 hours or until beans are soft.
After the 3 hours of simmering, take the Ham Bone out to cool so you are able to pick the remaining meat off of it. Remove bay leaves and discard. Add the chopped ham and stir. Then remove 2 cups of the bean soup, put into your food processor or blender to bring it to a smooth consistency. These 2 cups of beans, meat, spices and vegetables are necessary to thickening the soup. After processing them through your food processor add back to the pot. Add the meat picked from the Ham Bone to the pot, stir well. Add salt and pepper to suit your taste. (As for me I have yet to do this step. I use a very flavorful Amish Chicken Base for my broth so there is no need for the finishing seasoning).
Try topping the bowl of soup with shredded parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. absolutely serve with my Cucamonga Sticks.
- Instead of simmering on the stove top for 3 hours, at this point in the recipe I think you could put the soup into your crock pot and let it continue to cook on low for 5-7 hours.
- Sometimes I have leftover roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes and I add them to the soup at the time I am adding the chopped ham.
- Try substituting your leftover Turkey Bone and meat from Thanksgiving for the Ham Bone and meat in this recipe. I save the bones and meat in my freezer for future use. This way I can wait a few months before serving them again.
- For freezing this soup I prefer putting the cooled soup into a freezer zip lock baggy, Freeze flat in your freezer for easier storage.