It’s winter, and I’m currently in the throes of a yucky cold. I’m too tired to be bothered to make matzo ball soup, but bean soup, I can do. I originally made this using the leftover Honeybaked Ham bone from Christmukkah Day dinner (what? Doesn’t everyone get overpriced, delicious ham for Christmukkah dinner?). This time, I went and just bought the bone, and the soup mix at Honeybaked, but I don’t think that brand is necessarily key for making a good bean soup. Anyway, the first time I wanted to make the soup, I was all set to go and then realized that the mix from Honeybaked only had instructions for stovetop cooking, and I wanted to make this in my crockpot. I looked up some recipes online to get liquid amounts and timing details, and came up with a winning combo. If you’re a vegetarian, or just don’t want ham in your bean soup, I think these instructions would work as well without the sumptuous swine. You could even substitute a smoked turkey leg or two for a kosher meaty version.
Note: My crockpot is 6 quarts. Anything smaller, and the ham bone won’t fit with the rest of the ingredients, so check your crockpot size. There will be a TON of soup leftover. Freeze in individual servings for easy meals later on!
- 1 bag bean soup mix, rinsed, but not soaked, with seasoning packet (I’ve used the Mixed Bean Soup Mix from Honeybaked Ham, but any bean soup should do)
- 1 meaty ham bone
- 1 large red or yellow onion, chopped
- 2-3 stalks celery, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- salt to taste (only if you’re making this vegetarian – with the ham, it doesn’t need any added salt)
- 4-6 cups water
- Add onion and celery to crock pot.
- Place ham bone (if using) on top of onion and celery.
- Pour rinsed beans around ham and sprinkle with seasoning packet that came with beans, salt (if using) and pepper.
- Add garlic, tomatoes (do not drain) and water.
- Stir to combine all ingredients cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours. Your ham bone may stick out above the liquid level. This is fine as long as you can place the lid on the crockpot.
- When ham is tender (about 7 hours) Remove meat from bones (discarding fat and bones) and return meat to the pot. Stir to combine and break up ham pieces.
- To thicken, smash some of the beans on the side of crock pot.
Serve and enjoy!
Pro Tip: Whether you added the extra salt or not, the ham and the flavoring packet from the bean soup mix may leave you with an overly salty soup. Believe it or not, this can be undone! The easiest fix is to dilute the soup with water. But, if like me, you prefer a thicker soup, try adding either a bit of lemon juice to distract your tongue to cut through the saltiness. Or, add a starch, like noodles or rice to the mix. That will absorb some of the salt as you cook (as well as water, so you’ll want to dilute as the water is absorbed). If you’re watching your sodium intake but still want to use the ham (because – yum!), I suggest taking the ham bone out sooner (maybe after 3 hours), and not using less of the meat.