I tried this soup this evening, and really liked it. My husband usually doesn't care for ham and bean soup, but he polished off two bowlfuls! I didn't want to make a pond of soup for just us two without knowing if it was good, so more or less halved the recipe. Also I made it easier by using canned beans. I had bought an almost ten-pound presliced bone-in ham and had sliced off and used most of it, but there were a couple of cups of meat left on the bone (which wasn't very large). At the suggestion of some commenters, I simmered the ham bone for about an hour in 4 - 5 cups water with two bay leaves. (No added salt was needed, but I threw in a few grinds of pepper.) Meanwhile, I cut up a heaping cup of the ham, reserving the rest for later. I drained and rinsed a 14 1/2 can of great northern beans (navy or lima beans would do, I should think) and let them simmer with the ham bone. I cut up three carrots, peeled; three trimmed celery ribs; and half a large onion; and sauteed the vegetables for 5-10 minutes in a little cooking oil, in the bottom of a larger pot. I added a minced garlic clove for a minute, then added the chopped-up ham, along with 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard, and sauteed for a bit. Then I poured the ham bone, beans, and water into the sauteed stuff, and simmered the mixture for about 45 minutes. (You may need to add more hot water.) Mm. I'm saving this recipe!
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I tried this soup this evening, and really liked it. My husband usually doesn't care for ham...