Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ham, Bean, and Bacon Soup (gluten- and grain-free)

This easy soup simmers all day, and is sure to be a hit with the whole family. It is a wonderfully healthy way to make the most of the leftover ham bone from your holiday dinner. This recipe was inspired by a delicious pot of soup my mother-in-law made. I like to freeze the leftovers in 2-cup glass containers that can be reheated easily in the toaster oven. This recipe is featured in Real Food and Health Magazine.

Ham, Bean, and Bacon Soup
Serves 6-8
  • 16-oz dried white navy beans
  • one medium white onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, left whole
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • one meaty ham bone 
  • 6 cups filtered water
  • celtic sea salt and pepper
  • 6 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 8 oz nitrate-free bacon, chopped
  1. Soak the beans in filtered water for 8 hours or overnight. In the morning, drain and rinse the beans thoroughly.  
  2. Place the beans, chopped onion, celery stalks, bay leaves, and ham bone into a slow cooker or oven-safe pot. Season with salt and pepper.  
  3. Add enough filtered water to cover the beans and vegetables (it is okay if the ham bone sticks out of the water a little bit).
  4. Cook in slow cooker set on LOW for 6 hours, or on HIGH for 4 hours.  Alternatively, place oven-safe pot into 225 degree oven for about 5-6 hours.  Add water as needed to ensure the beans can soak up plenty as they soften.
  5. Then add carrots, paprika, oregano, garlic, and bacon to pot.  Cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours, until carrots are cooked to your liking.
  6. Pull ham bone out onto a cutting board.  Use a knife and fork to shred the meat off the bone, or slice it across the grain.  Discard the bones.
  7. Return the meat to the pot and nestle it down into the broth. Taste the broth and add salt and pepper as needed. Turn the heat to "Warm" (or the oven to 150) and let it sit for 30 to 60 minutes.  This step allows the meat to soak up the juices and get super moist.
This post is part of Pennywise Platter, Fight Back Friday, Real Food Wednesday, Fat Tuesday and Monday Mania!

    26 comments :

    Debbie @ Easy Natural Food said...

    Hi Sarah, this looks sooo good! The ham/bean combo is always tasty. Sunday Night Soup Night is going on right now, so I'd love it if you could come over and share this recipe.

    http://easynaturalfood.com/2011/11/05/sunday-night-soup-night-1162011/

    Hope to see you there!
    Debbie

    Anonymous said...

    This looks really good! But we have yet to find a sugar-free bacon or ham anywhere (Safeway, Kroger, local natural food store, Whole Foods, CostCo, etc.). Any suggestions for brands? Or do you think the sugar is so small that it's okay for GAPS?

    Sarah Smith said...

    I tend to make exceptions when there are 0 grams of sugar in a meat, because I figure the amount is miniscule. I do try to not eat very many of those exceptions, though. I'm sure it's not 100% GAPS-legal, but when you're in it for the long term you have to make those kinds of decisions :)

    Anonymous said...

    Hey Sarah,
    Is soaking the beans something that is necessary for the GAPS diet? I never soak the beans. Thanks for the nice plug...

    Anonymous said...

    Oh, by the way, I do not add the bacon to the soup. I know you lose some of that flavor but I like the bacon to be crunchy, rather than soggy. I Prefer to cook the bacon and then allow people to add to their bowls ideally. I think when you were here, I added the bacon before bringing the pot to the table. I believe I used the smokey paprika which I have become a fan of since discovering it.

    Sarah Smith said...

    We're supposed to soak the beans because that makes them much more digestible. I like adding the bacon to the pot instead for the flavor and the wonderful bacon fat!

    Pam said...

    This sounds so yummy and comforting for this time of year with the weather cooling down. We just received our pastured pork that we purchased and I have a ham bone in the freezer that would be perfect for this. Thanks for sharing such a hearty recipe. :0)

    Jill @RealFoodForager.com said...

    Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very interesting! Hope to see you next week!

    Be sure to visit RealFoodForager.com on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!

    http://realfoodforager.com/2011/11/fat-tuesday-november-8-2011/

    Anonymous said...

    Thanks for sharing! Looks good. Visit me over at http://raisingdieter.blogspot.com/ for whole food recipes and a giveaway!

    Vicki Arnold said...

    I added 12 oz of tomato paste and it tasted very similar to Campbell's bean with bacon soup. I gave the soup up years ago because of all the wrong kinds of sodium, etc. and have been looking for a good replacement recipe since. This is awesome and a welcome addition to our GAPS experiment. Thank you!

    Sarah Smith said...

    Great, Vicki! Thanks for letting me know!

    sylvia said...

    Gwaltny greenpackage no sugar bacon. Appleton farms at Aldi no sugar sausage.

    Anonymous said...

    Is there a stove alternative cooking method you could suggest? My crock-pot is super small and I don't have any larger pots that would fit all of this for the oven.

    Sarah Smith said...

    I've had good success using the oven with a large oven-safe pot instead of the crockpot. Set the oven at 225 degrees and cook the same time as in the crockpot. Good luck!

    Anonymous said...

    Sorry for any confusion. I don't actually have an oven safe pot, just stove. Any suggestions for the stove top?

    Sarah Smith said...

    Oh, okay. On the stove top, you would just need to use very low heat, just high enough to barely bubble, but not enough to simmer or boil. You'll need to stir periodically to make sure nothing is getting stuck to the bottom of the pot. It may cook a bit quicker on the stove top, but not a lot quicker. I hope this helps!

    Anonymous said...

    This turned out wonderfully over the stove. It actually took probably half the time; the ham was just falling off the bone. Thanks for the great recipe, and tips!!!

    Anonymous said...

    On a side note, I also added tomato paste; double concentrate.

    Amber said...

    Any idea how many calories this might have? Also serving size?

    Sarah Smith said...

    No idea on the calories, as I don't count calories. Serving size is probably about 1-1.5 cups.

    Anonymous said...

    Hemplers bacon is made with honey not sugar. It is GAPS legal.

    Anonymous said...

    Should I soak my ham bone with vinegar to get more minerals out of it, or doesn't that apply to ham bones? I always do that for chicken stock.

    Sarah Smith said...

    Sure, you could soak the ham bone to get more minerals out of it.

    Anonymous said...

    Also, you can get sugar free ham from US Wellness online.

    Anonymous said...

    This looks delicious! Is there any way to make this without the ham bone? Could I just put chunks of ham steak in it?

    Sarah Smith said...

    Yes, it would be good with chunks of ham instead!