Creamy Ham and Bean Soup
The View From the Great Island
Creamy Ham and Bean Soup is a luxe way to use up a leftover holiday ham ~ make a big pot of this wonderful chowder, it only gets better as it sits.
- 2 cups mixed dried beans (I used a mix of red, pink, white, lima, black, chick pea, black eyed pea, and hei
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 bay leaves
- ham broth
- leftover hambone, with most of the meat removed, shredded or chopped, and set aside
- 2 bay leaves
- 10 whole peppercorns
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups cooked ham, shredded or chopped
- fresh thyme leaves
- salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Rinse the beans and put them in a large pot. Cover with several inches of cold water, add the salt and bay leaves, and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for an hour.
- Drain the beans, put back in the pot, (along with the bay leaves) and cover with several inches of cold water. Bring the beans to a boil and cook gently until they are just tender. This can take anywhere from 1 to 2+ hours, depending on your beans. Add more water as necessary. Try to retain some texture in the beans, don't let them get mushy. Drain.
- Meanwhile, put the ham in a large stock pot and add 10 cups of cold water. Throw in the bay leaves and peppercorns, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down, cover, and cook for 90 minutes. Check to see that the broth is simmering, not boiling furiously.
- Strain the broth and discard the solids. Return the broth to a clean pot.
- Add the cooked and drained beans to the ham broth, along with the cream, the reserved ham, and 3 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves. Bring up to a simmer, and season with salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste.
- Serve hot with extra thyme leaves.