Ham Bone Soup
One of my favorite things to make, especially in the cold winter months, is soup. It somehow warms you from head to toe and fills you up. You can make soup light and broth-like, thick and hearty, or somewhere in between.
I can remember my dad telling me about what it was like for him growing up. His family was not rich by any means, but they never went hungry. His mother, who I never really knew all that well, would always have a pot of soup going on the stove.
Normally, unless I’m making a specific recipe, I never really measure any ingredients. For this particular dish, I started out by covering a ham bone in water and boiling it gently on the stove in a Dutch oven pot. I would say I used approximately six cups of water.
Sometimes I like to use a soup mix that consists of the following ingredients: barley, green split peas, whole green and yellow peas, black beans, Romano beans, brown lentils, yellow split peas, and red lentils. Everything is all in one bag, and you simply rinse and use as little or as much as you like. The recommended amount to use is one cup of soup mix to six cups of water. Today I decided to use one and a half cups of the soup mix.
“There is nothing like soup. It is by nature eccentric: no two are ever alike unless of course, you get your soup in a can.”— Laurie Colwin, 'Home Cooking' (1988)
- 1 ham bone
- 6 cups of water
- 3 cups of ham cut into small pieces
- 1 1/2 cups of Soup Mix
- 1 medium cooking onion chopped
- 3-4 ribs of celery chopped
- 6-7 small potatoes washed and cut into small cubes
- 3 cloves of garlic sliced thin and chopped
- 3 tablespoons of powdered chicken broth
- 2-3 dashes of Cajun Pepper hot sauce
- Fresh ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon of thyme
- Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning White Pepper spice
Seasoning the Soup
- Taste the soup as it is getting close to being done and adjust the spices according to what you like or prefer.
- I made this pot of soup fairly thick. If you prefer you can add more water and chicken broth to the pot to thin it down a bit.
Dry Soup Mixes
- If you're trying to save money and live a bit more frugally, homemade soup is not only a healthy choice but can be stretched and eaten for lunch or dinner.
- This soup can be made in larger quantities and frozen.
- For this bag of dry soup mix, I paid $1.49. From this bag, if I use it a cup at a time, I should be able to get 4 large pots of soup from it.
- You can make it with water, spices, and salt, and it still tastes great or add additional vegetables and or pasta to it.
- Remove as much of the ham off the bone as possible, chop up the ham and set aside.
- Place the ham bone in a large pot and cover with six cups of cold water. Boil gently for half an hour.
- Take the ham bone out of the pot, let it cool, and then remove any meat off the bone that is left.
- Rinse the 1 1/2 cups of dry soup mix under cold water and add it to the pot. Cover and simmer for one hour.
- While this is cooking chop the onions, celery, and garlic. Wash and chop the potatoes.
- After an hour add chicken broth powder, hot sauce, fresh ground pepper, thyme, and Cajun pepper spice. Stir everything well. Add the chopped onions, celery, potatoes, and garlic, and let that cook until the potatoes are fork-tender. Add ham just to heat it up in the soup.
- Serve by itself, or with a loaf of Italian or French bread. Make a side salad to go along with the soup and voila it’s a meal.
Please rate and let me know what you think.
Split Pea Soup
Split pea soup is another family favorite that I make quite often using a ham bone. This soup can also be easily frozen into individual serving sizes in either a zip lock freezer bags or freezer containers.
Do you make your own homemade soups?
© 2013 Susan Zutautas