This soup is a perfect choice for leftovers from a bone-in ham. Use your favorite ham recipe, leaving some meat on the bone to flavor the broth. Reserve some meat to be added at the end of the cooking time for additional ham flavor.
- 8 cups water
- 1 pound Great Northern beans or navy beans
- 2 cups cubed ham
- 1 ham bone or ham hock, optional
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper or to taste
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 rib celery, chopped or sliced thinly
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
Bring water and beans to a boil; boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 1 hour.
Stir in ham, ham bone or hock, pepper, bay leaf, carrot and celery. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer until beans are tender (skim foam from top), about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. If soup is too thick, add a little water. Remove ham bone or ham hock (if used) and trim meat from bone. Return meat to soup with tomato sauce and salt; simmer for about 15 minutes longer. Remove bay leaf.