Ham and Bean Soup

This weekend, Tyson and his dad showed up with a garage door opener!  They worked hard all day Saturday installing it.  We had a good weekend together and it was nice having people to cook for.  On Sunday night, we had ham for dinner.  There was a lot left over, so I decided to make ham and bean soup.

The soup turned out really good!  I soaked the beans overnight and finished the soup at work this morning. It was lunch for the Pilot Plant crew.  They work so hard and I wanted them to know I appreciate them.

This soup smells heavenly while cooking.  I learned this method from my Grandmother.  She made ham and beans while we were there over Christmas.  So, heres my recipe/method adapted from Grandma Lucille.

Ham and Bean Soup
2 cups dried pinto beans, rinsed and picked over
water
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 smoked ham hock (I used 1/2 smoked ham hock and leftover ham)
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with jalepenos (or just regular diced tomatoes if you don’t like it slightly spicy)

1.  Soak beans using slow method (in a pot with enough water to cover by a few inches overnight)  or using the quick method (in a pot with enough water to cover by a couple inches, bring to a boil, remove from heat and let stand covered for 1 hour).

2.  Drain soaked beans.  Put in a pot and add enough cool water to cover the beans by about an inch and a half.  Add the whole ham hock, onion, garlic and can of tomatoes.

3.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 3 to 4 hours, or until the beans are tender.

4.  Remove the ham hock and let cool on a cutting board.  Separate the meat from the fat and chop into bite size pieces.  Return to pot. (I also added chopped leftover ham from this weekend).

5.  Taste for seasoning.  You shouldn’t need salt, but add pepper if you’d like.  Serve on a cold day to warm you up from the inside out.

Here’s looking forward to spring!

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