2013 – Gluten Free Living
Ham and Lima Bean Soup is a wonderfully satisfying crockpot soup recipe with lots of shredded ham, soaked lima beans that nearly double their size, crinkle-cut carrots, garlic, onions, fennel, leeks and celery along with some wonderful seasonings. While I boiled the ham off on top of the stove, I cooked the rest in the crockpot. I probably could have cooked down the ham bone in the crock pot had I been thinking clearly!
I realized the other day that I still had the ham bone from cooking off the spiral-cut ham a bit ago and needed to use it up. I had planned on making a navy bean soup with it but couldn’t find any navy beans so I substituted dried lima beans instead and came up with my own concoction that turned out quite well. One of the ingredients I included in this soup was a fennel bulb. John had purchased two at the store for me the other day so I could make the Squash, Fennel and Potato Bake recipe. I still had one to use up so I thought I would add it to this recipe. Raw fennel tastes like a combination of celery and onion to me. It added a nice taste to this hearty soup recipe, too.
This healthy, low calorie recipe is gluten free and a great option for those who like to use their crockpot for cooking. The crockpot does a number on seasonings, however, and you will probably want to add additional marjoram, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper at the end of cooking time to make sure the recipe has the punch it needs.
This is a great tasting soup with lots of flavor.
This recipe makes enough for 12 hearty servings. If your ham bone doesn’t have quite as much meat on it just halve the recipe.
This recipe is gluten free. It really didn’t need any thickening agents.
Here’s what I did.
Boil off a ham bone in water that has been salted and peppered. If you want to do this in your crockpot it will probably take 4-6 hours on high.
Soak lima beans. You can do the quick soak like most bean recipes tell you which is to bring them to a boil first. If you do that you may need to decrease your cooking times because the beans may get mushy otherwise.
I decided to soak the lima beans. Remove any stones and rinse beans with water. Then place in a large bowl and fill so the beans are totally covered. I soaked them the same length of time it took to cook the ham – about 4 hours on top of the stove.
Here’s the ham after pulling it out of the pot. I pulled it apart and shredded it with my fingers removing all the fat as I did so.
You can see the lima beans absorbed most of the water in an hour or two. I actually had to add more water. Then right before cooking I drained them and rinsed them again.
Once the meat is cooked place beans in the crockpot with the ham broth and cook a couple of hours on high. If you have quick soaked them by bringing them to a boil first, check after one hour. If the beans are cooking fast then add the other ingredients immediately to avoid mushy beans.
After beans have cooked a couple of hours add the remaining ingredients. Here I’ve added the carrots.
This is how much shredded ham I got off that ham bone – about 4 cups.
Add diced onion.
Add one sliced leek.
Add two ribs celery cut on the diagonal.
Remove the top of the fennel bulb and chop down fennel.
Here is the chopped fennel.
Add one heaping tablespoon minced garlic from a jar.
Add seasonings and cook in crockpot another couple of hours until beans and carrots are done. The other veggies will cook a lot quicker.
Everything is added to the crockpot.
This is what everything looked like after cooking until the vegetables are tender. I recommend adding another round of seasonings here because the crockpot seems to diminish the flavors somewhat.
Serve in bowls and serve with hot bread or rolls for a really hearty main dish meal.
Using thyme and marjoram really add a nice touch to the soup.
Sit down and enjoy!
Here’s the recipe.
HAM AND LIMA BEAN SOUP
(my own concoction)
1 ham bone plus meat that yields 4 cups shredded ham
ham broth from boiling the ham
2 lbs. dry lima beans
8-oz. crinkle cut carrots (carrot chips)
1 large onion, diced
1 leek, green top removed, sliced
2 ribs celery, sliced diagonally
1 fennel bulb, chopped
1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic from a jar
1 tsp. marjoram
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. parsley
Pick through lima beans and remove any stones. Rinse and cover with water. Soak lima beans approximately 4 hours. They will absorb most of the water so you may have to add more water about half way through the time. Meanwhile, place ham bone in a large 6-qt. pot and fill with water. Sprinkle heavily with salt and pepper. Cook a few hours or until meat is falling off the bone. I cooked mine about 4 hours but it doesn’t have to be cooked that long. Continue adding water as the water evaporates from the ham pot. Remove ham and other pieces from broth. Remove all the meat from the bones and other tissue and shred into a bowl. Drain lima beans. Add to ham broth in large crock pot. Cook about 2 hours on high. Add carrots, onion, leek, celery, fennel, garlic, shredded ham and seasonings and cook until beans and carrots are tender – probably about 2 hours longer. Check seasonings. Add more if desired. Because the crockpot has a tendency to diminish the effect of the seasoning I recommend adding 1 teaspoon each of marjoram, thyme, and salt, an additional ½ teaspoon of pepper, and an additional tablespoon of parsley. Stir to incorporate. Serves 12.
NOTE: To cook on top of the stove, after cooking and removing ham add soaked beans and simmer about an hour, then add remaining ingredients and cook until done – approximately another hour.
NOTE: If you quick soak the beans by boiling on top of the stove, you will probably not have to cook them as long in the crockpot and you will have to adjust your cooking times so the beans don’t become mushy.
Ham and Lima Bean Soup is really tasty. You can easily make this in a crockpot but you probably better start early in the morning to make sure you’re done in time for dinner.
This close up shows the texture of this dish.
Ham and Lima Bean Soup is a very filling and satisfying soup. Try it soon!