My sister sent us home with a lot of leftover Easter ham so Matt asked for ham & bean soup. He even sliced the ham up all nicely for me. Little did I know that he had sliced the ham for sandwiches & there was a bone for the soup. Oops! I guess I have the bone for another time.
Last time I made a ham & bean soup it came out too thick & I wasn't thrilled with the flavor. I was happy with how this version turned out. The broth was really flavorful with the garlic & leeks. Typically these soups have you mash some of the beans to make it thicker. I didn't do that & was much happier with the final thickness. I would even go as far as to say this soup was light for a bean soup. Things are warming up here so I hope I'm not jinxing it to say this could be the last of the cols weather soups for awhile.
Ham & White Bean Soup
1 c dry white beans (we used navy beans)
1 T olive oil
1 leek, white & light green part chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 c cooked ham, chopped
3 c chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 t dried thyme
Put the beans in a pot with 3 cups water. Bring to a boil & let boil for 2 minutes. Turn off heat, cover & let sit for at least one hour. bring water to a simmer & simmer for 1/2 hour. Beans should be getting tender but not completely cooked. Drain & set aside.
In a large soup pot heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the leek, carrots, celery, garlic & ham. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are beginning to get tender. Add the broth, bay leaf, thyme & beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover & simmer for 1 hour until the beans are tender.
Add more broth if needed (I needed another 1/4 c). Taste for seasoning & add salt if needed.