It's been extremely cold (were talking under 20 degrees) out this week, and the whipping winds are making it feel even colder. It's that time of year when soup is on the menu at least one a week.
I had a ham bone in the freezer from Evan's birthday. Never throw out your bones! They are the key to the most fantastic soups you'll ever make. Bag 'em and tag 'em I say. The next day we get out the vacuum sealer and got that bone in the freezer. I also saved some of the ham, cut it up into bite size pieces and vacuum sealed those as well. All you do is thaw and get your soup cookin'. The best part is, it's super easy to make.
Ham & Navy Bean Soup
6 - 8 cups of chicken stock (or broth)
3 medium carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 ham bone
1 pound navy beans, rinsed and soaked over night.
Leftover ham, cut into bit size pieces.
In a large pot bring the chicken stock, carrots, celery and the ham bone to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
Add in the navy beans and simmer about 2 hours, or until beans are tender. I also added some Mrs. Dash, fresh parsley, a bay leaf and some cracked black pepper while it cooked. Take out the ham bone. If you have a big dog in the neighborhood I would save it as a nice treat. Since my pup is only 12 pounds and the ham bone weighs as much as him, I had to toss mine since there wasn't a big pooch around. Add the ham during the last 15 minutes of cooking.
Without much work at all you've a got great soup that will warm your belly (and make it happy too).