White Beans and Ham Soup

My husband is a great one to use up everything in the cupboard and the refrigerator.  Waste nothing, so whenever we have a spiral ham the bone gets boiled for soup.  
We just happen to love white beans and ham.  
We both grew up eating them.  Our recipe is better than our mother’s but don’t tell them.  

1 lb white beans, sorted and rinsed
1 meaty ham bone
3 quarts water
1/3 cup potato pearls or flakes
3 onions, chopped fine
1 carrot, chopped fine
1 small bunch celery, chopped including leaves
2 cloves garlic minced

Soak beans covered in water in a cool place a least 4 hours or overnight.  Drain the beans and place in soup kettle with ham bone and 3 quarts water.
Bring to a boil and simmer for about two hours.  Stir in potato pearls, onions,carrots, celery and garlic.  Simmer for 1 hour longer, until the beans are thoroughly cooked.  Remove ham bone, dice the meat and return to kettle.  Add salt and pepper to taste.   

Hint: You might want to skim of the fat when you remove the bone and before you add the other ingredients.

I love mine with hot rolls or bread sticks.  YUM!

Mary Ellen

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