Ham and Bean Soup

Ham and Beans

If you are thinking that I was completely on the ball, and all ready cooking with my fabulous heirloom beans from the previous post, you would be sadly mistaken. No, actually I had some beans in my pantry that I needed to use up, so I could get to the fabulous beans. So, this is recipe is actually a bag of regular supermarket dried beans (although, they are organic).

What is great about this, is that I discovered a new (or at least, new to me, sad, pathetic creature that I am) way to cook beans. Usually I cook my beans in the slow cooker, which is fine, but sometimes I think they have sort of an overcooked taste to them. I’ve tried the pressure cooker, which I think gives uneven texture, plus I tend to either overcook or undercook them. I’ve tried the stovetop method, covered and uncovered, simmered, boiled, whatever, but it never produces consistent results. So, I decided to try the oven. I mean that’s what bean pots are for, right?

It was perfect. See those perfectly cooked beans?? Not overcooked, not undercooked, just right. The veggies were just right, the broth was flavored just right. Really, they were perfect.

Ham and Beans
Serves 6 – 8

1 pound of dry great northern beans (or whatever you want to use), soaked overnight and drained
2 stalks of celery, sliced
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 pound ham hocks
1 handful fresh parsley, chopped
6 cups of water (or enough to cover the beans by about 2 inches)
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 300.

In an ovensafe pot (I used an enameled cast iron), heat a few chugs of olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onions, celery, carrots, and ham hocks, until veggies are starting to get tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, beans, and parsley. Add water to cover by about 2 inches. Turn up heat and bring to a simmer. Cover and place in oven. Bake for around 1 1/2 to 2 hours (may take a little longer depending on the age of your beans. Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

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Comments

  1. says

    Mmmmm … ham and bean soup. I want to snatch that carrot that’s in the foreground of the photo! I’ve never made this in the oven; what a great idea! Oh, how I’d love a steaming bowl of this for lunch tomorrow! YUM!

  2. says

    Great idea to do them in the oven. I am a wimp and still buy mostly canned beans (except lentils)
    I wish Canada would jump on the Internet-mail-order bandwagon, we don’t have a lot of good opportunities for that here.
    Yummy soup, full of hammy goodness.

  3. says

    I’ve just started cooking with dry beans and this sounds like a fabulous method! Can’t wait to try it and have pintos and cornbread for dinner.

  4. says

    BOY, does this look GREAT! AND quick question, How do you get your pictures so large on the blog? When I blow mine up that big, they turn grainy. I enjoy all your posts! Have a great day!

  5. says

    they sure do look perfect. but then, most beans do to my eyes. a cook would have to mess up big time to make beans look unattractive to me. :)

  6. says

    This is an old recipe of my grandmothers! Wow this is amazing to find out here on the internet (she just got a cell phone about a year ago).

    I have to suggest an addition to the meal though.

    A fresh batch of homemade corn bread with butter…mmm. Dipping it in the soup and eating it is yummy. Also, in my family, we add cold mustard to the hot soup at the table. Sounds weird, but it is actually quite wonderful!