15 bean and ham comfort in a bowl

September 29, 2014 § 1 Comment

I’ve made this soup several times now as a creation of bags of dry beans being on sale. Dry beans really are super tasty but I don’t use them too much because of the whole soaking overnight business, which requires forethought and planning. BUT wait! We just discovered the joy of using dry beans in a slow cooker that requires no soaking. But this can be done in a slow cooker or just on the stove as I’ve typically done.

This recipe kind of comes from the bag and is kind of from my head. I do think it’s key to caramelize/pan fry the ham a bit before throwing into the crock pot. It just gives it a nice depth of flavor you wouldn’t get otherwise. Perhaps if making this vegetarian, I’d recommend throwing in a dash of soy sauce to provide that meaty/umami richness.

The stuff
for immediate use/throwing into crock pot
1 pkg Hurst’s HamBeens® 15 Bean Soup, “spice” packet removed
8 cups water (if you are NOT making this in the slow cooker and using pre-soaked beans, use 7 cups of water)
1 – 1 1/2 lb. diced ham
1 lg. onion, diced
2-4 carrots diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp dried crushed rosemary*
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme*
crushed red pepper to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

for use finishing the pot
1 can tomatoes (15 oz.)
Juice from 1 lemon

crushed red pepper to taste

IMG_1898.JPG

The plan
1. Again, this is for the no soak, slow cooker method.

2. Sort and rinse beans, check for any little rocks or non-beans. Drain and place in a slow cooker with 8 cups of water.

3. Pan fry the diced ham so that the chunks are caramelized in a non-stick pan or with a tablespoon of olive oil.

4. In the same pan, cook the onions and carrots for 5-7 minutes until onions and carrots have softened. Add garlic and spices and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

5. Add ham and onions and carrot mixture to the slow cooker. *Do nothing with the tomatoes and lemon yet–acids can’t be added until the dried beans are tender.

6. Set slow cooker on low and cook for 7-8 hours (or high for 5), or until beans are tender, but not falling apart.

7. After the beans are tender, stir in the can of tomatoes and the lemon juice. Check for seasoning and adjust as needed.

8. Cook for additional 30 minutes then keep warm and eat it up when ready.

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