Bean and Ham Soup

Waste not, want not! This soup makes use of every last shred of a leftover ham. With the addition of dried beans and just a couple of veggies Bean and Ham Soup is very economical and nutritious. Iron Skillet Cornbread makes a tasty side item.

1 leftover ham on the bone
4 quarts water
2 lbs dried great northern beans
water, to cover
2 medium chopped onions
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, stems removed
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp black pepper
1 Tbsp sugar
3 cups cooked ham

1. Day 1: Early in the day put the ham bone and 4 quarts of water in a large Dutch oven. Simmer until the meat falls off the bone. Cool slightly, then pour through a colander to separate the solids, reserving the broth. Refrigerate the broth at least overnight to solidify the fat. Separate the ham meat, fat and bones, reserving the leanest ham and clean bones, refrigerate. Discard the rest.
2. Day 2: Early in the day put the beans and water to cover in an 8 Qt. Stock pot. Bring to a rolling boil for 2 minutes, then turn off heat, cover, and let stand for 2 hours. After standing, drain the beans. To the beans in the stock pot add the reserved ham broth, onion, celery, parsley, salt, pepper, sugar, and cooked ham and bones. Add enough water to fill the pot. Simmer all day, stirring often. Skim any extra fat that may appear, and discard bones before serving.

Servings: 20

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