Ham and Lima Bean Soup
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.
When I initially posted this recipe in April 2013, it was before I started using my Canon camera so the pictures were taken with an iPhone and were certainly less than pleasing. That’s why I’m going back through all my first year blog recipes and remaking the recipes and retaking the pictures.
I recently remade this recipe (December 2015) and gave it to a family who’s husband lost his father. He was traveling to Romania for the funeral and the rest of the family were here grieving. I brought over a crockpot of this soup and they loved it.
I have to admit, I could have just slurped down the wonderful broth from this soup it’s that good! This is one of my favorite soups. I think because marjoram and thyme work so well together to flavor this tasty soup. I find this soup wonderful comfort food–especially in the cold days of winter. I was unable to locate fennel so I added a couple of extra leeks instead.
This time when I made the recipe, I made the whole thing in the crockpot. I cooked off the ham the night before in the crockpot, then after deboning the next morning, I added all the other ingredients to the crockpot and cooked everything an additional 3 hours. Soaking the lima beans overnight in a large bowl of water decreased the cooking time so they didn’t need to cook as long. All in all, this is one, very easy, very delicious recipe.
Ham and Lima Bean Soup 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.
I used these ingredients. I boiled off a ham bone after making Apricot Glazed Ham for a Sunday school class Christmas party. The ham and broth are in the back bowl on the left. I soaked the lima beans in water over night.
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. I pulled apart the ham and shredded it with my fingers removing all the fat as I did so. It yielded about 4 cups ham. Set aside.
Instead of discarding all the bones and fat and gristle, I put them back in the crockpot with water, salt and pepper and cooked the bones down again for the broth. Then I used that broth to make a batch of Canadian Cheese Soup which also has ham in it.
To the ham and broth in the crockpot, add beans, carrots, fennel (if you can find it), diced onions, leeks, celery, minced garlic and seasonings.
Cook in crockpot about 3 hours on high until beans and carrots are done. The other veggies will cook a lot quicker.
Check seasonings and consider adding another round of seasonings here, if necessary, because the crockpot can diminish the flavors somewhat.
This is one of the most scrumptious homemade crockpot soups you’ll ever eat. All the ham broth adds extra taste as well.
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.
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. fresh crinkle cut carrots (carrot chips) or 12-oz. frozen crinkle cut carrots
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 leek, green top removed, sliced
- 2 ribs celery, sliced diagonally
- 1 fennel bulb, chopped (see note) (I substituted 1 tsp. minced garlic from a jar and used 3 leeks instead of one)
- 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 or overnight. 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 overnight on low until meat is falling off the bone. Remove ham and other pieces from broth. Remove all the meat from the bones and other tissue and shred into a bowl. Add shredded ham and strained ham broth back into crockpot. Drain lima beans. Add to crock pot. Add carrots, onion, leeks, celery, fennel, garlic, and seasonings and cook until beans and carrots are tender – probably about 3 hours longer. Check seasonings. Add more if desired.
Ham and Lima Bean Soup is really tasty.
It is so easily made in the 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!