Friday, November 16, 2012

Ham Stock and 15 Bean & Ham Soup

I love ham and 15 bean soup! It's one of those "make you feel warm all over soups." So, let's make some. You need one very meaty ham bone, saved from a ham shank or other ham you have baked. Save any leftover meat from the ham as well ... you will need some later. This is probably the most "frugal" thing you can do - make stock from a ham you have already eaten for dinner ... I mean, why not? You were going to throw it away anyway, so why not use it to make stock? Just think for one minute how awesome that is ... something you weren't going to use becomes some yummy soup you and your family will enjoy, or stock you can add to other dishes to make it even more yummy. I'ts a win, win as far as I can see!

1 large, meaty ham bone
2 quarts water
1 large onion, chopped
4 large carrots, cut in 1/2
4 celery stalks, cut in 1/2
1-2 tsp sea salt
1-2 tsp course-ground black pepper
1-2 tsp garlic
1-2 tbls chili powder
1-2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 bag Hurst's 15 Bean Mix
1 can diced tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
garlic to taste
Juice of 1 lemon or 1 tbls lemon juice
Ham pieces, diced

Place all ingredients in a large stock pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer several hours, or until ham is falling off the bone (about 3-4 hours); drain stock discarding all vegetables and ham bone.  Reserve any ham meat from the bone to use in the soup. Place stock in a large storage container and refrigerate until fat particles solidify on top; remove fat from stock. At this time you can pressure can just the ham stock if desired. Ladle into jars and pressure can pints for 20 minutes and quarts for 25 minutes at 10 lbs pressure.

Soak 15-bean mixture for 8 hours or overnight in 9 cups water.  Drain beans and place in large stock pot.  Cover with 2 quarts of reserved ham stock, add water if necessary; bring mixture to a boil, uncovered. Simmer 2 1/2 hours; add 1 can diced tomatoes, 1 onion diced, garlic and lemon juice. Continue to simmer 30 more minutes. Serve while hot or put up by pressure canning if desired.

Pressure Canning 15 Bean and Ham Soup
Reduce cooking time for the soup (above recipe) to 1 hour. Place diced ham pieces (reserved from baked ham) in canning jars; ladle soup over top to fill jars leaving 1" head space. Process pint jars 75 minutes at 10 lbs. pressure (quart jars 90 minutes).


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