Ham bone-and-bean soup

Yield: 8 Servings

Measure Ingredient
10 ounces 15-bean soup beans or other "ham" beans
1½ cup Ham scraps or fat; divided
1 Ham bone (optional)
1 Turkey carcass (optional)
1 Celery stalk; sliced
½ Carrot; sliced
½ Bay leaf; crumbled
2½ quart Water (or more)
1 Onion; chopped
2 Garlic cloves; chopped
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
Tabasco (optional)
Finely chopped fresh herbs (optional) -

COVER THE BEANS WITH WATER and soak overnight, or place in a pan, cover, and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and let sit 1 hour.

Drain. Make a stock of 1 cup of the ham scraps or ham bone and optional turkey carcass, celery, carrot, bay leaf and water by bringing to the boil, reducing heat, and simmering a couple of hours.

Degrease and strain. This may be done ahead and frozen. When ready to cook, add the beans, onion, and garlic to the stock, and bring to the boil, reduce heat, and simmer until done, about 45 minutes to an hour. Season to taste with salt and pepper and optional hot sauce.

Add freshly chopped herbs if desired. Remove from the heat. May be made 1 to 2 days ahead. Add the remainder of the ham ½ hour before serving. Bring back to the boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered.

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