I am notorious (well, with myself anyway) for making a recipe that I really like...and then never making it again. Especially with the advent of Pinterest and the All Recipes app on my phone, it is so easy and fun to make a new recipe every night of the week. Of course I have my basic standbys that aren't really recipes at all, like boneless pork chops on the George Foreman grill and pan-fried chicken tenders, but otherwise I mix it up so much! But I think I need to figure out a way to keep track of the winners so I can revisit them. I'd love to have an arsenal of true recipes memorized. Plus, if it was good the first time, it would probably be great the second time, too!

Two Thanksgivings ago Andy and I decided to have a solo holiday, and I bought a ham because I a) don't like turkey that much and b) was scared of cooking a turkey. Somehow a ham just seemed much more manageable. It came out delicious, but we of course had a LOT left over. I got it into my head that I wanted to make a ham and bean soup and a quick Google search turned up this one from All Recipes.


  • 1 pound dry great Northern beans
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ham hock
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups chopped ham
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper


  1. Rinse the beans, sorting out any broken or discolored ones. In a large pot over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Add the salt and the beans and remove from heat. Let beans sit in the hot water for at least 60 minutes.
  2. After the 60 minutes of soaking, return the pot to high heat and place the ham bone, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, mustard and bay leaves in the pot. Stir well, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 60 more minutes.
  3. Remove ham bone and discard. Stir in the chopped ham and simmer for 30 more minutes. Season with ground white pepper to taste. (I've never had white pepper before...I just used black.)
Recipe By: J. A. McConville
I don't even like beans that much, so I can't really fathom what made me decide to make a bean soup...but I'm glad I did! I remember this soup being tasty and hearty, but I then proceeded to never make it again.
Fast forward to last week, when I found myself with leftover slices of baked ham in my refrigerator (the very same that inspired the Croque Madame) and remembered this soup (which I had kept bookmarked on my computer for over a year and which became the very first pin when I opened my Pinterest account!). I didn't have the ham bone this time, but I figured it would be okay. I substituted a cup of chicken broth for one of the 8 cups of water to add a little flavor, and it came out well once again! I'm a bad blogger and didn't take any pictures, but we enjoyed it on Saturday night, again for lunch on Sunday, and Andy had one last serving for lunch today! The flavors are so good...sweet, almost, and the texture of the beans manages not to be what I dislike about beans. My only complaint about the recipe is how long it takes, so save it for a lazy Sunday when you'll be around for awhile, and you'll find that good things come to those who wait!
P.S. I wish I knew methods for converting recipes for preparation in the slow cooker, because I think this one would be a great candidate. Anyone have any suggestions? It might even work as-is!

I'm linked up to Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam!
Beauty and Bedlam

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman