Yes, I'm still dealing with left overs. We had 2 Christmas's this year... more on that in a future post. :)
So since I had a ham bone hanging around the house I decided to use it to make soup. If you have one in your freezer, feel free to wing it and toss in whatever left overs you happen to have in your fridge. You'll be glad you did!
Here's the cast of characters:
I realized afterwords that I should have taken a picture of the beans BEFORE I soaked them overnight. So let me explain what's in that pot. It's just a generic bag of 15 bean soup. You can get it in the dried beans section of your grocery store. It comes with a little packet inside of "flavorings", but if you're smart you'll stay FAR FAR away from that little packet! Yucko! Have you ever read the ingredients for that thing?? Nasty stuff! If you're smart you'll use your own flavorings and it'll turn out so much better. Trust me.
Here's a couple more pictures of the beans, just in case you don't know what 15 bean soup mix looks like.
This is after they had been soaking for about 12 hours. Then I drained and rinsed them. Some people just start cooking them without soaking them first, but it adds about 5 hours to your cooking time. If you have an extra 5 hours (HA!) then you can skip this step, otherwise soak & rinse.
Then I started chop chop choppin' some veggies!
I had leftover celery that was going to go bad if I didn't use it quick, so I put everything I had left in the soup. Don't go rushing out to buy celery for this if you don't have any hanging around, just use what you've got and it'll turn out great.
Then an onion. You really do need an onion for this, it makes all the difference.
Then you toss the beans and veggies into a 6-quart or larger crock pot.
Then I brought out my ham bone. It ain't pretty, but it'll make some awesome soup!
I didn't cut it up or anything, but you can if you want to. I just nestled it in with it's new friends... Beans & Veggies.
Then I decided to get fancy and do an action shot. I'm pretty excited about the results! I know... I need to get a life. lol
I didn't measure how much chicken broth I put in, I just used what I had left in the fridge and then filled the rest with water. I ended up adding about 5 cups of water. You should just add enough liquid to give the mix some breathing room. Hubby doesn't like thick soup, so I added more than what is absolutely necessary.
Now for the exciting part! Seasonings! To start out I took the leaves off a bunch of thyme. No need to chop, the leaves are tiny and will cook in perfectly.
Then I tossed the thyme in the pot along with about a teaspoon of pepper and 5 crushed chicken bullion cubes. I just used 1 cube for every cup of water I added. I could have used salt... if we had any salt in the house!
Then I set the crock on high, cooked it at that setting until it started to simmer, and then I turned it down to low. Overall it cooked for about 5-6 hours, most of that time it was on the low setting.
Don't you just love how exact I am?
Hey, it isn't rocket science!
It's supposed to be fun people! :)
So after all that work (or not, since it's so easy!), you end up with a very tasty bowl of bean soup.
If you're like me you'll eat it with a nice fresh salad.
Or if your like my Hubby you'll eat it by itself... and then eat a bunch of Doritos later.