As a mother, and now a grandmother, family and home are very important to me. Some of my favorites memories are of being in the kitchen and cooking with my own mom. Having a good meal over the dinner table with family is priceless! But, making it happen is hard work. I wanted to share with you some of my secrets, tasty dishes, and cooking wisdom. So, that your dinner table will become a gathering place for your own family that they too will come to cherish.....Yours truly, Mystery Mom.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Homestyle Country Ham and Bean Soup

     Whether you want something warm and filling during the winter, or just a bit of good old fashioned comfort food during the summer; this Homestyle Country Ham and Bean Soup hits the spot everytime!  And it always tastes great with a nicely grilled cheese sandwich.

Country Ham and Bean Soup
12 Cups of Chicken Broth
2 large Ham Hocks
1 Large Diced Onion
3 Celery Stalks
1 Cup Shredded Carrots
1/2 tsp. Pepper
1/2 tsp. Thyme
1 Package White Beans
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 Ham Steak Diced

     As part of the prep. for the meal, you will have to take one package of White beans and put them in a bowl . Then add one tsp. of Baking Soda, and fill with with just enough water to cover the beans.  Cover the bowl, and let sit on the counter overnight.  In the morning pour water off beans and slightly rinse.

Score ham hocks, and place in pot.  Pour in 12 cups of good chicken stock.  Add beans, carrots celery, onion and seasonings .  Stir together cook on med heat till boiling. Once boiling reduce heat to low and simmer for about 3 hours, keep lid on pot.

Next, you will remove the Ham Hocks and you are going to mash the beans, and then recover.  Take the Ham Steak and dice it up, and add it into the mix.  You will want to let the soup cook for another 15 to 20 minutes before serving.  Add salt to taste, you may not need salt depending on how the ham was cured.  IF as it happens at times the ham was cured a little too salty, then add water to the soup to dilute the overtly salty taste.

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