Lima and Navy Bean and Ham Soup Recipe Reviews - Allrecipes.com (Pg. 1)
Reviewed: Feb. 15, 2004
I hate to be the lone dissenter, but I thought this was only okay, and some of the ingredients (which might make the recipe look intimidating to some) were completely unneccesary and actually detracted from the soup's flavor, specifically the sausage and the fresh herbs. In the interest of economy, I recommend using whatever herbs you have on hand that are in the recipe (only less if dried). If I made this again, I would omit the sausage, too, and add either ham flavoring or extra ham because my family likes the flavor.
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Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Kodiak, Alaska, USA
Living In: Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA

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Reviewed: Jan. 13, 2006
I received a honey-sliced ham for a Christmas gift, using the bone for this recipe. I also diced a cup or more of extra ham to add to the soup. This is a terrifically hearty soup, with a wonderfully complex flavor. I thought so many ingredients might be gratuitous, but the flavor was so good, I'd be afraid to leave anything out when I prepare it again. Yes, with so many ingredients, you will be in the kitchen for awhile. And the beans do take a long time to cook. Still, it's all worth it when your family keeps going back for seconds and thirds. As another reviewer mentioned, I found myself adding water as the soup continued to thicken. To retain the flavor, in adding so much water, I also added another teaspoon of chicken bouillon. Adding water did not hurt the flavor. My grocer did not have fresh chives, so I used dried. That's the only substitution I made. Don't think twice about making this one! Just do it!
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Valley, Nebraska, USA
Living In: Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Reviewed: Feb. 19, 2003
You CANNOT mess up this recipe! First soup from scratch I ever made, and I was snowed in, so I didn't have several of the ingredients. I substituted cooked fresh tomato and extra paste for the canned tomatoes, lentils for the lima beans, extra white onion for the green onions and chives, and all dried spices instead of fresh. Still phenomenal!
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Reviewed: Dec. 19, 2006
Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I prefer the standard navy bean soup to put my ham bone to use. I thought I'd try something different this time... big mistake. This had way too much going on - as well as many unnecessary ingredients (like green onions). The flavors were much too strong.
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Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

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Reviewed: Feb. 3, 2007
I don't understand all the praise. I thought that the recipe was needlessly complicated, and all the extra spices didn't add up to a superior soup.
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Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Austin, Texas, USA

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Reviewed: Jan. 2, 2007
This is hands down the best bean soup I've ever had in my life. The flavor and blend of spices is amazing. I didn't use the green onions, just used extra white onions per another user review. I also used dry spices since I didn't have fresh spices on-hand. Phenomenal!! My husband agrees that this is "a keeper"!
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Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Denver, Colorado, USA
Living In: Englewood, Colorado, USA

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Reviewed: Feb. 22, 2005
Great spice combination, very flexible. I wanted to use up some left-over ham, and didn't have time to run to the store to get more ingrediants to really follow the recipe, so I really butchered it. Essentially, I used a reasonable amount of the dried versions of the spices with three cans of beans (pinto, black-eyed peas, and kidney) instead of dried navy & lima beans, used sparkling apple cider instead of beer, used extra ham instead of Italian sausage, and left out the Worchestshire sauce, chives, and celery because I didn't have any on hand. I also threw in a green pepper for some color. The spices came out perfect even without measuring, and the cayenne added a great kick - my spice-loving fiance was thrilled! Next time I'll try hard apple cider, and more of it (don't usually have beer on hand). Sticking with the canned beans, too - much faster, the whole meal cooked in about an hour including prep.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Coupeville, Washington, USA
Living In: Seattle, Washington, USA

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Reviewed: Oct. 16, 2006
This was one of the best I have ever had. I made a double batch, You need a very very large pan to mix the ingredients. I used a cut up picnic ham cubed with the fat removed, instead of ham hocks. I Pulled two gallons out of the mixture and froze them before I started the main cooking process. The remaining mixture had to be cooked in a electric roaster. It was the only thing that was still large enough to cook it all. After the famaly ate all we wanted, I took it to work and 10 men were able to have a bowl full. All I heard all afternoon was that bean soup was really good, (along with all the reporting from the hind end). A few wanted the recipie for deer camps. By the way, I cooked it for several hours in that roaster at 350 degrees, and there was not one burnt spot on the bottom of the pan. I'll try the roaster thing for chilli, and others that tend to burn on the bottom of the pan.
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Reviewed: Dec. 28, 2006
I thought this made a great soup! I did modify it quite a bit though. I didn't want to wait five hours for it to cook! I used 3 cans of great northern beans instead of the dried package, and I used one package of frozen lima beans. This cut cooking time down to about an hour. I also used about a pound of italian sausage since that was the smallest package I could find. I tried some Italian style stewed tomatoes which also added some flavor, and I substituted chicken broth for water and cut down to 1 tablespoon chicken base. It turned out to be excellent! This was my first chance to use my new food processor from Christmas, did that ever make this soup a snap!
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Reviewed: Jan. 6, 2004
This is a terrific hearty soup - especially with a leftover ham bone from a previous evenings dinner. I forgot to add the worcestershire and it still came out great! My 4 yr. old daughter loves it too! The cayenne really gives it bite, so if you are not one to crave spice, cut back to 1/2 tsp or less; the soup still has great flavor.
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