I created this soup years ago in order to make the best use of a leftover ham bone. Since Best Ham Ever is pretty much a holiday around here where the children nestle all snug in their beds, with visions of ham shanks dancing in their heads, the night prior to ham dinner.
You think I’m exaggerating. I promise I’m not.
But, then I have the ham bone and leftover ham to use for other recipes. A thick and hearty soup made with a leftover ham bone and white beans, this soup is super easy to throw together, and I always have the few little ingredients on hand in my pantry. Talk about economical! I imagine my grandma would have made this type of thing to stretch a dollar and feed her family well.
This serves about 8, but the amount can easily be adjusted to serve more or less. You can also throw in some cubed potatoes or carrots chunks before simmering if you’d like, but it’s super satisfying either way.
Begin by putting a ham bone and about 2-3 cups of leftover ham into a soup pot.
You can buy a ham shank or ham with a bone in it and use most of the ham for any other recipe like Skillet Frittata or omelets or ham sandwiches. Just leave some meat on the bone for this recipe.
To this I added about 12 cups of rinsed northern beans (at least 6 15 0z. cans). Make sure you rinse them, though! Saves on the belly upset later!
To the ham and beans, add 8 cups of water,
1 medium sized chopped onion,
1/4 cup ketchup,
1/4 cup white vinegar,
1 bay leaf,
1/2 tsp. pepper,
and depending on how thick you like your soup 1-2 cups of mashed potato flakes.
I started with 1 cup and ended up adding about 2 cups by the time it was done in order to get a nice thick consistency.
Bring the whole thing to a boil over medium heat and then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer (lid on) for the rest of the afternoon, at least 3 hours.
Close to serving time, remove the ham bone and any large chunks of ham and get rid of anything that you wouldn’t want to eat and shred up any big chunks. Don’t forget the bay leaf! Put the smaller bites of ham back into the pot, add more potato flakes if it needs thickening and season to taste. I added more pepper because we love our pepper in this house and salt isn’t really necessary since the ham is so salty.
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