Ham and Bean Soup

This dish is great for leftover ham after the holidays.  The fresh ham can be frozen and used later for the soup.  Serve this hearty soup with slices of crusty French bread and you have a meal.    We have made this dish for years and it provides ample leftovers for another night.

1 lb. of dry navy beans
1 ham bone
2 cups cubed ham
1 small onion, chopped
2 quarts water
½ teaspoon salt
Dash ground pepper
1 bay leaf 

Rinse the dry navy beans.  Soak for 3 hours and drain well.

Combine remaining ingredients in a large casserole dish or “dutch oven casserole” and heat to boiling.   Cover and simmer for approximately 3 hours until beans are tender.  Add more water if needed.  Skim off the foam occasionally.

Remove bay leaf and ham bone from the casserole dish.  Trim any meat left on the bone and add back to the soup.  Add additional salt if needed.

Refrigerate the leftovers.  Spoon off the fat on top before reheating.

Serves 6 to 8

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