Saturday, January 10, 2015

Ham & Bean Soup

     I think I may no longer be completely terrified of pressure canning. I've done it a half-dozen or so times and haven't caused any notable damage. I haven't poisoned anybody yet, which is a real surprise. It's a good thing I'm comfortable with it, because it was a great way to use up some of the HUGE surplus of ham from the holidays. For not having many ingredients, this soup was surprisingly tasty. I have no regrets canning a gallon of it. You can serve this up right after it's done, or pressure can it for long term storage. Just be careful if you do. As always, notes and changes are in blue.

Ham and Bean Soup
via Better Homes and Gardens Home Canning Cook Book
  • 2 pounds dry navy beans (about 4 cups)
  • 1 meaty ham bone
  • 1 cup chopped ham
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 12 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  1. Rinse beans. Add to 4 quarts water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cover for one hour. 
  2. Add ham bone, ham, onion and one teaspoon salt (we omitted the salt because the ham we used was plenty salty on its own). Tie peppercorns and bay leaf in cheesecloth and add to mixture (or do like we did and load it into a tea ball and hang it in off the edge of the pot)
    Sometimes I'm so clever it hurts.
  3. Simmer, covered for 1 hour.
  4. After 1 hour, remove spice bag/ball and ham bone. Cut off meat and dice. Use about 1-1/2 cups meat. (Use more if you want. We didn't because the ham was so salty and it would have thrown off the flavor of the soup).
  5. If you plan on serving the soup, you're done. If you want the soup a bit thinner, cut it with about 1 cup of water per quart of soup. From here on out these steps are for pressure canning the soup. 
  6. Keep soup hot. Pack hot soup into hot jars, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Adjust lids. Process in a pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure. Process pints for 75 minutes, quarts for 90 minutes. This recipe will yield 4 quarts, but is easily halved. 
  7. Before serving from a processed can: add 1-1/2 cups water to each quart of soup. Boil, uncovered at least 10 minutes before tasting or serving. As always, it's a good idea to consult the fine folks at the National Center for Home Food Preservation for detailed information on pressure canning. Check the site especially if you've never pressure canned before. Not only can you accidentally poison everyone if you screw up, you can also burn the shit out of yourself or explode your kitchen. Remember, we're trained professionals working in a controlled environment. 

1 comment:

  1. This is one of our favorite soups in the Winter! Thanks for sharing at Freedom Fridays - pinned and sharing on Facebook! :)