Easter is right around the corner and, for about 70% of Americans, that means you are cooking an Easter Ham.  

If you’re providing the ham, you may be wondering what you’re going to serve – after Easter – with all those ham leftovers. We serve ham year-round – we don’t wait for holidays. So, we have about 5-6 meals that we consistently make with ham. In case you need inspiration for what to do with all that leftover ham, I thought I would share with you my personal favorite recipe to use up some of that extra ham – HAM AND BEAN SOUP

The best part? It uses the bone. So, DON’T THROW AWAY THE HAM BONE!!!! 

Even if you’re not hosting, make sure that bone doesn’t get thrown away – make sure someone takes it home and gets to put it to good use.  

The secret to a good ham and bean soup definitely lies in the bone

 

Wanna know the other best part? This recipe is naturally allergy-friendly. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and free of the other allergens in the top 8 allergens. Yet, it’s something that people who don’t struggle with food allergies can enjoy. Even if you don’t have food allergies in your home, because all the ingredients are so accessible and familiar, it makes for a great recipe to bring to potlucks or to share in a meal train for families with allergies.

 

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I have cooked ham and bean soup on the stovetop and in an Instant Pot. This stove top version is the more flavorful way to cook this recipe. However, it takes more hands-on work and requires that you keep an eye on it. You need to be home for several hours before serving.

The Instant Pot version is slightly less flavorful, but it is WAY EASIER. It’s almost completely hands-free. Because it’s easier and so much less involved, it’s pretty much the only way we make this soup anymore. You don’t need to be home for the bulk of this cook time. Though we miss a little bit of flavor, it is still delicious and is a better match for our on-the-go lifestyle.  

I will include instructions for making it both ways – so you can decide which method is best for you!

Stove Top Ham and Bean Soup

 

Ingredients:

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1 ham bone

1 onion diced

4 stalks celery, diced (optional)

8-10 carrots, sliced

2 (15oz) cans navy beans or 3 cups cooked navy beans

2-4 cups diced ham – depending on preference

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large stock pot. Works best in a cast iron dutch oven, but any stock pot will work.
  2. Saute onion and optional celery for about 3 minutes
  3. Add ham bone.
  4. Fill pot ¾ with water.
  5. Turn heat to medium until reaches a rolling boil, then lower heat to a simmer
  6. Cook this stock for 3-4 hours. You will need to watch this and add water throughout the cook time. If you forget to watch this, the water will dissipate and you will end up with too little broth.
  7. When the broth has reached the flavor strength you desire, remove the bone and any free floating bone or cartilage parts.
  8. Add the remainder of ingredients (carrots, beans, ham) and cook over medium heat until carrots reach your desired tenderness. Start checking at about 5 minutes.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

As written, this recipe makes about 12 servings.  Adjust up or down according to your family size.

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Instant Pot Ham and Bean Soup

 

Ingredients:

2-3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 ham bone

1 onion, diced

4 stalks celery, diced (optional)

8-10 carrots, sliced

2 (15oz) cans navy beans or 3 cups cooked navy beans

2-4 cups diced ham – depending on preference

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Press button for saute feature. 
  2. Heat olive oil.
  3. Add onion and optional celery.
  4. Sautee for 3 minutes.
  5. Add ham bone
  6. Fill pot ¾ with water.
  7. Close lid and turn on Hi Pressure for 4 hours.
  8. After the 4 hours cook time is up, you can do a quick release or a slow release.
  9. Remove bone and any free-floating bone or cartilage parts.
  10. Add the remainder of ingredients (carrots, beans, ham) and cook over medium heat until carrots reach your desired tenderness. Start checking at about 5 minutes.
  11. Serve and enjoy!

As written, this recipe makes about 12 servings.  Adjust up or down according to your family size.

 

As you know, I love holidays because they provide such great SALES on groceries. With many parts of the U.S. seeing ham for .99/pound, it may be a time for you to consider stocking up and putting a few in your freezer! If you can score your ham at .99/pound AND you use your own bone, this recipe will fall far below $1 per person per meal. The way we make it at home, it comes to about .50/serving! Isn’t that awesome?

Now you know why ham and bean soup one of my favorites: it’s hearty, tasty, comforting, allergy-friendly, simple, and CHEAP!

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