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15 Bean and Ham Soup Recipe

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Helena Powell


20 oz bag of Hurst's HamBeens® 15 Bean Soup® (I don't use the spice packet)
1 medium large onion, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped small
1 large green pepper, chopped small
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 TBSP olive oil
1 thick cut ham steak from the grocery store or ~1-1½ pounds of a good quality smoked ham, cut into ½" diced cubes (this is not deli meat)*
28 oz can of small diced tomatoes
1-2 tsp black pepper
2-3 tsp ground cumin to taste
1 TBSP paprika
¾ tsp ground sage
1 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1-1½ TBSP Better Than Boullion - Roasted Chicken Base (be careful with this- adjust according to taste and overall saltiness)
1½ TBSP sugar
4 or 5 medium carrots, peeled and diced

Cheddar cheese, chopped onions, crusty bread, corn chips to serve if desired
*I buy a huge ham on sale during the holidays and cut it up in the "right size" chunks and freeze it so I can always make a good ham bean soup.

Pour the package of beans into a large kettle, picking through making sure to remove any debris or possible small stones. Rinse the beans several times. Fill pot with approximately 3 quarts of water. If you have time, allow them to soak overnight. The beans will rehydrate and soak up water. Place pot of beans and water on stove on high and bring to a boil. Turn the burner down to medium and simmer, allowing beans to cook until tender, approximately 2 hours or more. Keep an eye on it. Beans and water can easily over boil. In the meantime, in a separate large kettle, turn heat to medium high. Add olive oil, garlic, onions, celery, and green peppers, stirring frequently until there is some notable browning and caramelization on the vegetables. You may have some sticking to the bottom of the pot; that is okay. It's called fond and greatly adds to the flavor. Keep an eye on this part, you don't want it to burn! With the heat still quite high, next add the diced ham to the veggies. Stirring frequently, allow the ham to brown just a bit, approximately another 5 minutes. If the heat is not high enough, the ham will release its water instead of browning. Don't worry about it, just cook a while, and go on to the next part! Next, add the can of tomatoes, black pepper, cumin, paprika, sage, thyme, bay leaves, and stir until combined. Turn the heat down to low/medium low. This will blossom the spices. Again, watch to make sure it doesn't burn. At this point, the pot of beans and their water should have been cooking for a while, and the amount of liquid will have gone down. When the beans are tender, add them to your veggies and ham.This is slow food, so if you have to turn the veggies and ham off for a while to get the beans done, do so. You can't add the beans to the salty veggie and ham mix until they are tender, otherwise you will end up with "tough" beans that you can't seem to get to cook through! Once the beans are added to the pot with the veggies and ham, add 3 cups of water or so along with the soup base, sugar, and carrots. Bring to a boil. Turn heat down to simmer, stirring frequently to keep the beans from sticking. The soup will thicken. Add just enough water to make a nice thick rib sticking soup. Cook an additional hour, allowing carrots to cook and the flavors a chance to combine. Serve with crusty bread, garlic bread, cheddar cheese shreds, chopped fresh onions, or crumbled corn chips if desired.

Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
A bit of soup, bread, and fellowship makes a full table for friends and family to enjoy!

This soup freezes really well and is well worth the effort. I freeze it in quarts. Instructions: Take soup out of the freezer and allow to defrost. In a kettle on the stove, put the soup and approximately ½ -1 cup water. Bring to boil. Simmer 10 minutes. Serve and Enjoy!

If you have come to GriefShare or one of our Women's Group potluck get-togethers, you may just have had this soup! I put this soup together when I had a summer job working as the morning and midday cook at a small restaurant and guest ranch in Jackson Hole, WY about 7 miles east of the south entrance of Yellowstone National Park. I was 21 years old. I came to work one day, and the power was out and going to be out for a while. We were in the "middle of nowhere" when it came to quick electric company response. All I had was a great big professional gas stove and some huge soup kettles. We ended up with a menu of homemade kettle oatmeal, cowboy coffee, homemade chili, and this 15 bean soup for about a week. Throw in some homemade cookies, and we fed the surrounding community that came to the restaurant to catch up on news. The visitors that came through on their way to Yellowstone got a good dose of western hospitality and some old fashioned slow cooked food. Been a hit ever since. Enjoy!




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