I originally got this recipe from All Recipes and it's the recipe by Pat Keene. I found last Christmas' ham bone in the freezer when taking an inventory so I decided to make this soup. Oh man, it's SOOOOO good!!! I didn't need to add any additional ham to it because the bone had plenty of meat when the soup was almost ready. This is a wonderful soup for fall or winter!
Ham and Bean Soup
1 (16 oz.) package dried navy beans
7 cups water
1 ham bone
1/4 cup minced onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
2 cups diced ham
1/2 cup or more sliced celery
1/2 cup or more sliced carrots
1. Rinse beans. Put into stockpot, cover with water. Bring to a boil and boil 10 minutes. Place pan in sink and add 1/4 cup baking soda to the bean/water mix and stir vigorously until the foam is gone. (This helps to get rid of some of the "gas" in the beans supposedly.) Drain and rinse the beans VERY well. Put beans back in pot and add water, ham bone, onion, pepper and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for 1 hour 15 minutes.
2. Remove bone and scrape off any meat and add back to soup. Add in carrots, celery, salt and diced ham. Continue cooking for about 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
** Very good when cooked ahead and refrigerated overnight**