Mom’s Ham & Great Northern Bean Soup

Here we are to the weekend, and we are STILL working on our leftover ham. So for this one and final ham meal we are going to make a soup. I needed Mom’s help on this one, since I’ve never made one before.

Mom got me in the kitchen early this morning, and sent me off to the store straight away. We were missing one main star to this recipe and that’s the beans. However, in typical daughter fashion, I even got it wrong at the store! I only picked up one jar of beans, and yet we needed two. So Mom’s sending me out again later to get the last jar of beans. It’s so hard to deal with both the disapproving stare from my Mom, while I try not to laugh and make excuses as to why I forgot it!

It wasn’t on the list! There was only one on the list!” disapproving stare from Mom sent in my general direction.

She ushered me back into the kitchen, quick with the orders. “Make sure the ham-bone is defrosted all the way. Get the soup pot out.”

After placing the ham bone in the pot, fill in with water until you’ve nearly covered the bone.

img_3316Add some onion, carrots, and celery. (They don’t have to be chopped up finely – This celery is from when I practiced my knife skills.)

img_3317 Add your spices Thyme, 2 Bay leaves, Pepper, and Salt.

 Bring the pot to a boil and reduce to simmer for about 3 hours.

This makes the perfect time to grab a cup of Joe and sit down and chat, or watch your favorite food TV!

After about an hour, my Mom strongly suggested I make another addition to the soup. It’s something I’m still learning about and I haven’t used yet, but I have tried it without complaint in other dishes. It’s called Umami. Perhaps you’ve heard of it?

If you google Umami it will bring you to Wikipedia, where Umami is described as the “savory taste.” Hmm..seems like this Umami could work with a lot of dishes, doesn’t it? From Epicurious, The “stir-in paste and condiment” contains a murderers’ row of umami essentials: tomato puree, red wine and balsamic vinegar, Parm, black olives, anchovy, garlic, mushroom powder.

After a minor dispute from me (I’m not a fan of anchovies) she talked me into it and into the pot went the Umami.

After stirring it in, we tasted our soup for seasoning and decided it needed more salt. We obliged, providing more salt for our soup.

Keep tasting, and stirring your soup periodically. As Mom says, ideally you want it to be seasoned well enough that anyone eating it will not feel the need to add more salt/pepper.

After the pot has simmered long enough, in our case it was a little over 3 hours, remove the large pieces from the pot. You are going to save the carrots and meat to dice up and toss in later, but the rest has served it’s use in this dish. Set aside for now.

Rinse the beans in the sink. Then pour the beans into the pot.Dice up the carrots and meat we set aside earlier and SET ASIDE.



Next you will use an immersion blender to blend the beans and any stray onions and celery up in the pot. After you’ve blended it, ADD the meat and carrots back in.

We liked to add a little Heavy Whipping Cream and Butter to our soup as well for added richness.

img_3371Sprinkle parsley on top and…




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