Photo by Melody

Cooking: Can You Make Good Bean Soup without a Ham Bone?

Communities > Forums > Cooking
bookmark
Forum: CookingReplies: 48, Views: 581
Add to Bookmarks
-
AuthorContent
Igrowinpa
Beaver Falls, PA
(Zone 6a)

February 15, 2012
10:41 AM

Post #9007713

Last week, my DH and I made a pot of some of the best navy bean soup we've ever had. We used the ham bone from our DD's Christmas Ham which had been frozen since the holidays. I'd love to make it more often than the once a year when we have a ham bone available.

What could you use in place of the ham bone to flavor the soup? I'd appreciate any ideas you can share. Nothing like a bowl of hearty bean soup in the cold winter months to warm you up!

Linda
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

February 15, 2012
10:44 AM

Post #9007714

I'm interested to hear what others use for their ham and bean soup. We like to use a smoked turkey leg.
1_Lucky_Texan
Arlington, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 15, 2012
10:57 AM

Post #9007724

probably not the specific dish you're referring too, but my wife often makes beans with a little pulled pork. Has done the same with smoked chicken thighs as well as smoked turkey.

all BBQed by ourselves.
TwinLakesChef
OC, CA & Twin Lakes , IA
(Zone 4b)

February 22, 2012
6:03 AM

Post #9015596

Using your own smoked meat has got to be the best!

Smoked ham hocks work just fine. I haven't bought a regular ham in years with it just being the two of us. I really don't eat ham. But I sure do like to use it to flavor other things.

I've been using ham hocks for years . . bean soup. . . split pea . . . lentil (when I don't use bacon).

Simmer the hocks in water; remove and debone, remove fat, and chop meat. Take the broth and add onions, celery, seasonings of choice.
Simmer that until tender. Then add your beans that have soaked in cold water overnight.

We add the chopped ham meat last minute so that it retains its flavor.
Igrowinpa
Beaver Falls, PA
(Zone 6a)

February 22, 2012
3:40 PM

Post #9016278

I will be trying that TwinLakesChef. Thank you for your comments and recipe!
Linda
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

February 22, 2012
4:05 PM

Post #9016318

Yeah me too, that sounds great. Good to 'see' you again Arlene!

Celene

Celene
Columbus, OH

March 6, 2012
7:49 AM

Post #9032040

I never use ham or pork, I'm a vegetarian ;) I use onions, garlic, celery, carrot, and parsley. If I want the smoky taste, I use smoked salt.
SusanKC
Shawnee Mission, KS
(Zone 6a)

March 11, 2012
12:28 PM

Post #9038230

We don't use meat in our bean soup either. Onions, celery, carrots, a mix of different types of beans and lentils, and a good veggie broth. Sometimes I throw in tomatoes also.
roadrunner
Hereford, AZ
(Zone 8a)

March 31, 2012
2:48 PM

Post #9064546

I like to use Navy Beans for bean soup...and I no longer use Ham Hocks...I use a little bacon grease that I have saved (I KNOW...not good for you...what else is new?) I also have used Chicken Stock and the carrots, onions and celery and different herbs.

I have started to use the "quick cook" on the package...fill pot with the needed amount of water...boil for 2 minutes...let sit for 2 hours...then I cook them about 10 minutes in the pressure cooker. This method will over cook the carrots and onions and celery...so if they are included you have to change the cooking time. Jo
1violetheart
Lawrenceville, GA

April 28, 2012
10:53 PM

Post #9102055

No, must have a hog bone in my experience.
TwinLakesChef
OC, CA & Twin Lakes , IA
(Zone 4b)

June 5, 2012
8:10 AM

Post #9153091

I am not big on meat but am not vegetarian. I like to flavor dishes with smoked meats but I wouldn't sit down and eat a center cut ham slice all by it'self. This is a vegetarian recipe that I make and I don't even miss the smoked meat flavor that I usually use.


VEGETARIAN LENTIL SOUP

Serves 4

Heat in large Dutch over over medium heat:

5 T Olive Oil
2 onions, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced

Sauté till just translucent, 3 minutes
Add:
6 cups water
1 ½ cups lentils (10 oz), rinsed
4 medium carrots, thinly sliced
1 T dried savory

Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

ADD:
2 - 14 ½-oz. Cans tomatoes

Cover and cook until lentils and carrots are tender, about 10 minutes longer. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Refrigerate Rewarm before continuing)

Stir in
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
½ tsp. hot sauce
salt & pepper to taste

SERVE:
Pass grated 8 oz Jarlsburg cheese separately

From Dinner club by Gina James 1/25/1992

Celene

Celene
Columbus, OH

June 5, 2012
7:12 PM

Post #9153906

If you want the smoky taste, just use some smoked salt to season.
MaryMcP
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

June 5, 2012
8:30 PM

Post #9154017

Note to self : smoked salt...

Celene

Celene
Columbus, OH

June 6, 2012
4:54 AM

Post #9154251

I love smoked salt more than I should...
dillansnana
Hemet, CA
(Zone 9b)

June 8, 2012
11:20 PM

Post #9157777

Hickory smoked salt is so good to add that smokey flavor when you don't have bacon or ham. Works for me!!
flsusie
New Port Richey, FL

July 28, 2012
2:21 PM

Post #9221654

my aunt who makes the best bean soup in our large family of great cooks uses the large smoked sausage in hers when the holiday ham bones aren't available.
dillansnana
Hemet, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 28, 2012
5:36 PM

Post #9221823

Knorr ham bullion cubes also work well.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

July 28, 2012
6:03 PM

Post #9221853

I wouldn't use bouillon on a bet. Too many chemicals in them.

I have a cold smoker set up but haven't used it in a year. Cold-smoking salt was on my list to try. I did try cheese, but my temps were a little too warm.

Celene

Celene
Columbus, OH

July 30, 2012
8:13 AM

Post #9223486

I use the hot smoker for salt, it doesn't make much difference. I did learn not to smoke it with strongly flavored meat, like salmon, or the salt tastes like the meat. I loathe the smell of seafood, so I thought it was horrifying, everyone else liked it.

helenethequeen

helenethequeen
Longboat Key, FL
(Zone 9b)

August 6, 2012
8:41 AM

Post #9231529

I use a smoked pork butt as we like to eat the meat in hot or cold sandwiches as well. Rye bread little mustard and sliced meat. Very nice with a sauer kraut salad. Or even a bean salad reserved from soup.
FishMonger

August 20, 2012
3:57 PM

Post #9248094


I have upon occasion, substituted the ham bone with either baked bacon, or grilled chicken thighs. Different flavors... Just as good!

Just grill the chicken until slightly charred. Then toss them into the pot of raw beans and onions.

Thumbnail by FishMonger
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

August 20, 2012
4:31 PM

Post #9248130

I am like TwinLakes...not vegetarian (by any means) but consider meat, for the most part, a condiment. We used hocks for years but now the big name processors, like Smithfield, have a handle in the hock business so you can either pay a lot for vacuum packed hocks or wait until the holiday season when pork floods the market and fresh smoked hocks. I predict the era of fresh smoked hocks is on the wane and they will soon not be available. They used to be available year around and very cheap here in the south. The alternative is to eat LOTS of ham and save the bones. I have had discussions with my butcher on this topic. I cater and found the escalating cost of hocks and hambones prohibitive. Plus, neither I, nor the clients I cook for, want the preservatives used in curing the commercial meats. So now we smoke our own meats. Several years ago we discovered there's a season for bargain chicken thighs, usually late summer and fall. We smoke loads of thighs at that time and I use them for the smoked meat in greens and bean dishes. I realize this is not practical for most so instead, you might use smoked turkey parts available in most markets. A healthier alternative, though not quite as rich, would be to save roasted chicken parts in a freezer bag. Steam the scrap meat briefly, remove from the bones and set aside. Otherwise it will become flavorless. Boil the daylights out of the roasted bones for several hours and use that base to cook your beans. Add the scrap meat back at the very end. You will need two chickens worth of bones to make one flavorful pound of dry beans.
Paul_Robinson
Torrance, CA

October 12, 2012
8:48 AM

Post #9303108

I love bean soup! But, like the song says "When I'm not with the girl I love, I love the girl I' m with...", may I offer the alternative of that wonderful Italian "suppa": Pasta Fajpuli. (I probably didn't spell any of that correctly) Lots of bean and loaded with flavor!
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

October 12, 2012
8:58 AM

Post #9303115

Pasta fagioli? It's a wonderful alternative. The dish usually involves pancetta which is not smoked but rather salt cured pork bell.
dillansnana
Hemet, CA
(Zone 9b)

October 14, 2012
4:50 PM

Post #9305158

One of the best "bean soups" I've ever made is dried baby lima's with lots and lots of chopped onion, salt (after cooking) and a liberal amount of pepper. Very simple but way delicious!!
Goblinmama
Gibraltar, MI

October 14, 2012
7:10 PM

Post #9305311

Have used smoked hocks for years in my U.S Senate bean soup recipe, but have noticed that they have not been as meaty as they used to be. As a result, I now also use smoked shanks to add more meat.
I brown my chopped onions lightly, then add the beans (soaked overnight & picked over first, of course), hocks, shanks, & cracked pepper. Save adding salt til later as the smoked products may provide enough to suit you.. I've also heard that salt makes the beans tough, but I don't know if there is any truth to that.

I see that Helenthequeen uses a smoked pork butt...have to try that as I don't like to be chintzy with the meat.

helenethequeen

helenethequeen
Longboat Key, FL
(Zone 9b)

October 15, 2012
7:58 AM

Post #9305772

Come to think of it my mother didn't use anything smoket in her beans. She used white navy beans soaked over night. Refresh the water, added celery, carrots sauteed onions whole cubanella pepper, bay leaf pepper and salt to taste some crucifer if there was something around. Cooked this untl beans were done. Took out the Vegtables - discarded them. Took out some beans (when not mushy) for white bean salad added generous amount of thinly sliced onions oil and vinegar, tad of sugar and salt and pepper.
Took out somemore after add'l cooking, made a roux with flour butter, chopped garlic, and a pinch of paprika thickened this and served as a side vegetable. Made soup with the rest. This worked for my father.
Making black bean soup today for my Son in law as I have stayed here for the summer. This recipe is from California OO and no ham flavor here. But that may be traditional for cuban fare.

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 7, 2013
4:18 PM

Post #9378519

I made bean soup with sweet italian sausage but added beef stock and that was not a good flavor.

So I bought ham hock bones today but not smoked. Would these work? Should I roast them first perhaps?

Tam

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

January 8, 2013
6:30 AM

Post #9378954

Tam, I find I get better flavor from any bones I roast first, but I've never tried that with ham hocks since I generally cure and smoke my own unless I buy them already smoked.

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 8, 2013
6:56 AM

Post #9378972

I'll give roasting 'em a try. Probably still won't taste as good as soup made with ham hocks but I did get a little ham to add.

Thanks Darius.
Tam
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

January 8, 2013
9:55 AM

Post #9379105

I agree with Darius and would add that you should season them well before roasting. Salt, pepper, garlic, etc. Over roast them to render more fat and more flavor to the fat and meat. Smoked meat adds much to the flavor but I try to avoid the additives in commercial products. Thus we smoke all kinds of meats once a year and store them for greens, beans and stews the rest of the year. My most recent greens were done with some skin from a whole ham. It was so smokey I was able to recycle it into a soup for flavoring only and then the dogs got it.

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 8, 2013
10:18 AM

Post #9379127

OK. Not to be too stupid about this but... do you use the rendered fat in the soup?

I've got the flu and am simply too miserable to attempt anything like a new skill, smoking meat!

Tam
SusanKC
Shawnee Mission, KS
(Zone 6a)

January 8, 2013
12:15 PM

Post #9379210

Sorry to hear you are still sick.

Last batch of bean soup had all the regulars plus turkey bacon and collards.
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

January 8, 2013
1:52 PM

Post #9379311

Tam, it would be healthier not to. The meat should do it. If you like the flavor of the rendered fat you could add it though. So sorry you are ill.

Susan, I too made a soup this past week utilizing leftover collards, turkey and blackeyed peas from New Years.
SusanKC
Shawnee Mission, KS
(Zone 6a)

January 9, 2013
8:39 AM

Post #9379989

First year for growing Collards. Thanks to you for turning me onto them! We love them in soup. Still working on using them other ways to see what we like.
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

January 9, 2013
11:29 AM

Post #9380158

They will taste very different depending on the season. Milder and sweeter in cold weather. If they are growing in warmer weather it is good to put them in the fridge for a few days. If they are mild and tender then they are very good stir fried with a bit of water to steam at the end. Be careful not to cook them too hot or they will get a bitter taste like cabbage. I start with a hot pepper, like jalapeno, and add a few cloves of minced garlic right at the end. I use either peanut oil for no flavor or olive oil for flavor. They are good in pasta dishes and good cold topped with a premium olive oil and more minced garlic. You can add chopped tomatoes, chopped egg and fresh croutons to the last dish. Save any unused pot likker for soup.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

January 9, 2013
1:17 PM

Post #9380246

Laurel, are you talking about regular collards, or the yellow cabbage collards? I didn't grow any of those last summer, but I seem to remember them as being sweeter and milder...

I hope my seeds for them are still somewhat viable.
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

January 9, 2013
2:44 PM

Post #9380325

This applies to all collards and, for that matter, kale. They both benefit from cool weather. Actually they are best with some frost or a brief freeze. They start to go downhill with repeated freezes. This doesn't mean to put them in your freezer at zero degrees. The thing about collards is that, unlike kale, they tolerate warm weather so you can be picking for a longer season. If you are okay with some bitter greens in the recipe (I am) and can give them a head start (because they will be tough) then they are nutritious but not at their premium flavor. I'm not sure what goes on there but the I'm assuming the more bitter flavor is related to the plant producing higher oxalates during warmer months. Collards are pretty high in oxalates anyway so if your diet limits or excludes them you should definitely not eat ones grown in warm weather. Folks with a history of kidney stones fall into that group.

Larkie's family grows collards so she knows a lot about them, I'm sure. Heading types are the most common ones grown commercially because they are harvested all at once. Non-heading types are not as sweet or tender but produce more leaves over a longer season.

Collard seeds loose viability more quickly than other veggie seed. I have poor germination on collards after two years and really bad at three.
SusanKC
Shawnee Mission, KS
(Zone 6a)

January 10, 2013
3:51 AM

Post #9380724

We have Georgia Collards. The ones we have were planted fall of 2011 so they made it through a mild winter. Do they always continue to grow more like a perennial?

We sautéed a batch of collards and kale with sautéed onions, Mongolian fire oil, and thinly sliced kumquats for Christmas. It was great.
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

January 10, 2013
7:19 AM

Post #9380856

Collards are biennial. If planted in Fall they will usually go Fall to Fall and then bloom the following Spring. If they are planted in Spring they will flower the very next Spring. If the weather is too cold they won't winter over. If the weather is too hot they will bolt and go to seed earlier. Your main crop will be that first Fall/Winter. If you let them go to flower the flowers are delicious on top of soups, salads, or sandwiches. They taste like mustard but very mild. They are big bee and wasp attractors.
Ronny121
Alabama, NY

November 9, 2013
2:16 AM

Post #9705135

i think ihe below recipe is perfect...
1 lb. dry black beans
1 1/2 lb. smoked sausage, in 1/4 inch slices
3 med. onions, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp. wine vinegar
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Soak beans overnight. Drain and rinse. Slowly brown sausage in large soup pot. Add all vegetables, saute until onions are clear. Add rinsed beans to pot. Cover with fresh water, bring slowly to gentle boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until beans are done (not mushy) about 2 hours.
Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve over hot rice, cooked in separate pot. Serves 8 to 10. Freezes well.

Celene

Celene
Columbus, OH

November 9, 2013
6:36 AM

Post #9705218

Ronny, I like the idea of vinegar in the beans, I am going to give this a try with vegetarian sausage and worcestershire sauce. :)

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

January 29, 2014
11:02 AM

Post #9758185

Bump, because it's soup weather!
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

January 29, 2014
3:53 PM

Post #9758367

Did you get your soup made, Darius? We smoked a lot of chicken thighs in Fall and I've been clinging to them for "special occasion" beans. I'm like TwinLakes in that although I eat meat (and every kind of cut and preparation that would be considered the eighth deadly sin) I stay low on the meat protein profile.

Celene

Celene
Columbus, OH

January 29, 2014
6:21 PM

Post #9758444

I did try the vinegar, and it's great. I still love smoked salt, it accomplishes some of what smoked meat in the beans does, flavorwise. Without the fat, and of course keeping things vegetarian.

I've been on a baked beans on toast kick for awhile now. No idea where that came from!
SusanKC
Shawnee Mission, KS
(Zone 6a)

February 3, 2014
12:37 PM

Post #9761547

Maybe you are gearing up for an overseas visit. Baked beans on toast was a popular item in Australia for breakfast.

synda

synda
Carrollton, OH
(Zone 6a)

February 3, 2014
12:50 PM

Post #9761553

I have always just used plain ham and cook it with my beans , not the bone .Hubby always gets a large tavern ham from work and I'll cut it up and freeze most of it because it is too large for us .But you could also try liquid smoke if the smoke salt is too salty ...

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

February 3, 2014
6:00 PM

Post #9761763

I use small pieces of smoked ham hocks or smoked jowl.
TwinLakesChef
OC, CA & Twin Lakes , IA
(Zone 4b)

February 9, 2014
7:47 AM

Post #9765587

I rarely get online here as life has gotten in the way.

I recently did an experiment with bean soup.

First I did the quick method of bring the dry beans to a hard boil for one minute, turn off the heat and cover for 1 hour. Supposedly, the scum that rises to the top is to be scooped off, as it is the type of sugar in beans that can't be digested. After the hour soak, I poured the beans in a colander and rinsed them well.

Next I put them in a pot and kept the heat very low while they cooked, being certain they were covered with water at all times. I read that canned beans are cooked at too high of heat and thus
the associated gas. It said they should be cooked so slow that it would take 3-4 hours. I did not manage that long, but cooked them as slow as possible (I didn't want them mushy).

After that, I rinsed them again. Then I added all the regular ingredients.

At the end, I added one tsp vinegar. That is also supposed to help.

I took them to work and we did an experiment. One cup serving and everyone reported back the
next day that there were no digestive problems.

I don't think that trying this just once tells me anything but we had fun at work discussing beans.

Don't forget that stewing a ham bone pulls calcium out of the bone, which makes your soup more nutritious.


Best regards to all, old and new,
Arlene

You cannot post until you register and login.


Other Cooking Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
Cooking Questions Answered MistyMeadows 385 Dec 3, 2009 5:25 AM
Classic Cooking Answers`& Advice TwinLakesChef 8 Mar 9, 2010 4:23 PM
Memorable kitchen mishaps McCool 81 Jul 25, 2007 4:28 AM
Kraft Food's "Food & Family" magazine... WUVIE 20 Apr 2, 2009 3:09 PM
Wanted: No Fail Sponge Recipe leelovespigs 45 Dec 2, 2009 6:08 PM


We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2014 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.
 

Hope for America