My family has always enjoyed homemade bean soup especially made with a meaty ham bone left over from a holiday meal–this one is Thanksgiving ham. Now it’s even more nutritious made with pastured pork ham and ham bone. Cooking several hours with the bone also enriches the broth. Here’s how I make my ham bone bean soup.
2 cups mixed dried beans
1 large organic onion, chopped
1 green or red organic pepper, chopped
1 to 2 stalks organic celery, chopped
1 or 2 organic carrots, chopped
1 meaty ham bone, preferably from pastured pork
20 to 28 oz. diced or whole organic tomatoes, preferably in glass jars, such as Jovial
2 cups diced ham, preferably from pastured pork
2 teaspoons ground cumin (I used Penzey’s)
1 teaspoon chili powder (I used Penzey’s medium hot chili powder)
Salt and pepper to taste
Pick over and rinse well dried beans. Soak overnight (12 to 24 hours) in slightly warm water to which you’ve added 2 tablespoons of whey (see note about whey below). The next day, rinse beans well. Put the beans, ham bone, and ham in a large pot. Add enough filtered water to cover the beans and ham. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 3 hours. Check occasionally to be sure liquid still covers the beans and bone.
Add chopped vegetables and seasonings and simmer for about one more hour. Remove bone before serving. Bean soup is delicious with a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice in each bowl.
We also like our bean soup topped with shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
This recipe like most soups is very forgiving of modifications. You can change the amount of most ingredients, double the recipe, and serve with other options such as sour cream and diced avocado.
Note: One of the easiest ways to get whey is to drain a good quality yogurt. The Healthy Home Economist has a good video explaining how to separate the whey.