This is a delicious, hearty and economical soup that will warm you up! I usually serve this with some corn muffins. It is a great use for spiral ham leftovers.
1 (20 ounce) package of dried beans, soaked overnight (I used the "HamBeans" mixed package)
1 pound of diced ham or smoked sausage
2 cups diced onion
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
3 cloves chopped garlic
(1) 32 ounce container of chicken broth (this is about 4 cups)
4 cups of water
(1) 26 ounce can of chopped tomatoes (I like the Pomi Brand in the red box)
Juice from 1 lemon
1 small handful of chopped Italian Parsley (the flat leaf kind)
Salt and pepper to taste (I used 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons of pepper)
(1) Soak your dried beans in a pot overnight (discard the seasoning pack that comes with it).
(2) The next day drain the dried beans.
(3) In a large soup pot, add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and saute the celery, carrot, onions and garlic over medium high heat until the onion becomes translucent (about 8 minutes).(4) Add the drained soaked beans, ham, chicken broth and water
(5) Turn the heat to high and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Then reduce the heat to low and allow the soup to simmer for 1.5-2 hours.
(6) Once the beans are fully tender, add the tomatoes, lemon juice, parsley and salt and pepper. If desired you can add additional leftover diced ham.
(7) Continue to simmer the soup for another 10 to 15 minutes.
*I usually pick out the black beans in the mixture as they turn the soup grey.
This soup will continue to thicken as it cooks and sits. If you like it thinner - just reconstitute it with additional broth or water.
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