Bean soup is one of my favorite comfort foods. And if you remember to save the bone and drippings from a baked ham, it is also a very inexpensive and filling meal. A ham bone and drippings add a beautiful punch of flavor that powdered mixes simple cannot replicate. This recipe is simple but ooh so good!
*In this recipe, I used a bag of beans labeled “16 Bean Soup Starter”. These are sometimes also sold as “Calico Beans” or “13 Bean Soup Starter”.
*Many bag of beans come with a little packet of “ham flavoring”. NO. Just throw if out, this is what the ham bone & dripping is for.
Ham & Bean Soup
Recipe from my Mom
1 lb dried beans (see Recipe Note)
Ham Bone & Ham Drippings reserved from Baked Ham
1 small onion, diced
After baking a ham, reserve the ham bone (with some meat left on) and all of the pan drippings in a large zipper bag. (I will often freeze this so I can make the soup at my leisure.)
Soak the beans 8 hours or overnight, drain and rinse. Or, to quick soak, place the beans into a soup pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil. Cover and remove from heat. Soak for 1 hour, then drain and rinse.
If frozen, thaw the bone and drippings while the beans soak. The fat will have risen to the top of the bag and solidified. Skim off and discard most of the fat, reserving 2 tablespoons of fat.
Place the reserved fat into a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the diced onions and cook until the onions are tender, but not translucent.
Add in the ham bone, ham drippings, and beans. Add enough water to cover the bone and beans. Bring to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally.
Just before serving, remove the bone. Shred any meat that is still on the bone and add it back into the soup. Add a touch of salt, if desired.