Leftover Hambone Soup

“If you saw two guys named Hambone and Flippy, which one would you think liked dolphins most? I’d say Flippy, wouldn’t you? You’d be wrong though. It’s Hambone.”

-Jack Handey

That said, I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with my leftover Christmas ham. The bone seemed too good to just throw away. I did a few recipe searches and I found this one, and it sounded really good.

I didn’t follow it exactly, so I thought I should write out my version here. I cooked this soup all day. It is a perfect Sunday soup if you plan on spending the whole day at home. It was totally worth the wait. This was the best soup I have made in a long time.

Leftover Hambone Soup

Ingredients:

1 meaty hambone

1/2 lb. dried navy beans

chicken stock

beef stock

1 onion, finely chopped, reserve 2 Tbs.

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

freshly ground pepper

1 bay leaf

2 Tbs. butter

2 Tbs. Wondra flour, or regular flour

1 tsp. smoked paprika

1 Tbs. parsley

sour cream

Leftover Hambone Soup

Directions:

Pour the dried beans into a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes, turn off the heat, cover and let sit on the stove for an hour. Drain and rinse the beans and place them in a large saucepan. Add the onion, carrot, garlic, bay leaf, pepper and hambone. Fill the pot with equal parts beef and chicken stock until the liquid is two inches above the beans. The hambone will probably stick out a bit. Partially cover and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low and let simmer for two hours or so, adding water or chicken stock every once in a while so it still looks soupy.

Remove the hambone and take off most of the meat. My hambone was actually two pieces of bone. I discarded the really solid bone and placed the hollow bone back into the soup. Let the meat cool and break it up into bite-sized pieces. Place the meat back into the pot. Taste your soup. If it’s too salty add more water. Let it simmer partially covered for another two hours, stirring occasionally and adding liquid whenever it’s looking too thick.

About 10 minutes before serving, heat the butter in a small saute pan. Add the reserved chopped onion and cook till onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the flour, parsley and paprika and stir into a paste. Cook for two minutes. Add several ladles of hot soup to the pan and whisk till thick and smooth. Add this roux to the soup. Cook soup another 7 minutes. If it’s too thick, add a little water.

Serve in large soup bowls with a dollop of sour cream and a piece of rustic bread.

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