Here are two versions of Bean & Ham Soup. The first recipe (pictured) is one my Dad recently made based off of my Mom’s original recipe. The second is my Mom’s original recipe.
First you want to soften your beans you can either:
1) Soak the beans overnight
- or -
2) In a pan, cover the beans with water, add 1/2 cup of baking soda and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and allow to set for about an hour. Then drain and rinse well before adding to the soup.
Combine all the ingredients and cook over low heat until beans are tender, about 2 hours. Remove the ham hocks and pull the meat off the bones. Put the meat in the soup and discard the bones.
The recipes are similar, but my Dad’s recipe used 15 beans verses just navy beans and he actually had the size of the cans he used. My father says the recipe is a Polish recipe, but it really could have originated from almost any region in Europe.
Perfect for a large family, which is why my Mom liked this recipe. Having to feed six kids on a budget, this was one of the recipes my mom served regularly.
I have to say I loved my Dad’s soup more, mostly because of the mixture of beans as I thought it gave a richness to the soup. Although, you can’t go wrong with either recipe. Enjoy!