Navy Bean Soup with Smoked Ham

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NavyBeanSoupI should have named this post New England Boiled Dinner Part Two. The best part about making a boiled dinner are the leftovers. So you’ve had dinner, and in the days following you’ve fried thin slices of smoked shoulder in a pan with eggs, and had some pretty amazing sandwiches – the grand finale is navy bean soup! I confess – this soup is my favorite – it’s hearty, easy to make, and if you’re hammed out at this point – it freezes beautifully!

  • 1 smoked shoulder ham bone (there should still be some meat leftover)
  • 1 pound of dried navy beans, picked over and rinsed in cold water
  • 4 carrots, peeled
  • 3 ribs of celery
  • 2 small onions
  • 10 whole black peppercorns

1. Soak navy beans overnight, or if you forget like I did – boil beans for 3-5 minutes, turn off the heat and let sit in the hot water for an hour.

2. Place the ham bone with meat in a soup pot or Dutch oven, add two quarts of water, toss in one of the onions, one carrot, one rib of celery, and the peppercorns. Bring to a boil, and let simmer for an hour.

3. While the broth is cooking, dice the onion and carrots, cut the celery in half lengthwise and slice.

4. Remove bones and set aside, strain the broth into a bowl and return to pot. Let the bones cool slightly, and remove meat.

5. Drain beans and add to broth along with the onion, carrots, celery and meat.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until beans are tender, about 1 hour.

 

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