Savor the Simplicity: Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup
Step into the realm of comforting warmth and hearty flavors with our Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup. This soul-soothing recipe brings together succulent ham, an array of wholesome vegetables, and a medley of beans in a rich, flavorful broth. The slow cooker transforms simple ingredients into a culinary masterpiece, allowing you to savor the essence of home-cooked goodness with minimal effort. Join us on this culinary journey as we explore the art of crafting a soup that not only nourishes the body but also warms the heart.
3 cups Ham, fully cooked
1 Ham bone
1 Bay leaf
2 cloves Garlic
1 (15.5 ounce) can Great northern beans
1 (8 ounce) package 15-bean soup mix
2 cups Chicken broth
Baking & Spices
1 tsp Black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 tsp Salt
2 cups Water
Prepare the Ham Bone:
If the ham bone is not pre-cut, trim any excess meat from it. Ensure it fits comfortably in your slow cooker.
Rinse the 15-bean soup mix under cold water and pick out any debris. Chop the ham into bite-sized pieces, mince the garlic, and dice the onion and carrots.
Combine in the Slow Cooker:
Place the ham bone, chopped ham, 15-bean soup mix, minced garlic, diced onion, and carrots into the slow cooker.
Add Broth and Seasonings:
Pour in the chicken broth and water. Season the mixture with freshly ground black pepper and salt. Add the bay leaf for an aromatic touch.
Give it a Stir:
Gently stir the ingredients in the slow cooker to ensure even distribution of flavors.
Cook on Low:
Set the slow cooker to low and let the soup simmer for 6-8 hours. This slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld, and the beans to become tender.
Remove Ham Bone:
Carefully remove the ham bone from the slow cooker. If there’s any meat left on it, shred it and return it to the soup.
Serve and Enjoy:
Ladle the Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup into bowls. Discard the bay leaf before serving. Optionally, garnish with fresh herbs like parsley.
Cook Notes and Variations
Smoky Flavor: Enhance the soup with a smoky undertone by adding a dash of liquid smoke or using smoked ham.
Vegetarian Twist: For a vegetarian version, omit the ham and ham bone. Increase the quantity of beans and use vegetable broth.
For a keto-friendly adaptation, reduce the quantity of beans and opt for low-carb vegetables like cauliflower instead of carrots. Ensure the ham used is free of added sugars.
Low Carb Version
Create a low-carb version by using fewer beans and increasing the proportion of vegetables. Consider adding bell peppers, celery, and broccoli for a colorful and low-carb twist.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1: Can I use a different type of bean mix?
A1: Absolutely! Experiment with different bean mixes or choose your favorite single variety.
Q2: How do I store leftovers?
A2: Store leftover soup in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days or freeze for longer storage.
Q3: Can I use a different type of broth?
A3: Yes, feel free to use vegetable broth or beef broth based on your preference.
Q4: Can I cook this on high for a shorter time?
A4: While it’s possible, the slow cooking process on low heat allows for better flavor development. Cooking on high for a shorter time may result in firmer beans.
Q5: What’s the purpose of the ham bone?
A5: The ham bone adds depth and richness to the broth as it simmers. It’s a flavorful element that enhances the overall taste of the soup.
Indulge in the heartiness of our Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup, where every spoonful is a journey into a world of comforting flavors. This recipe, with its simplicity and robust taste, is a testament to the magic of slow cooking. Whether you enjoy it as a cozy weeknight dinner or share it with loved ones during gatherings, this soup is bound to become a cherished favorite. As you savor the nourishing warmth of each bowl, may the simplicity of this dish bring joy to your kitchen and comfort to your soul.