More Ham and Beans
- Place the beans into a large container and cover with several inches of cool water; let stand 8 hours to overnight. Drain and rinse before using.
- Combine the soaked beans, 4 cups of water, celery, onion, bay leaves, cumin, garlic powder, and parsley into a slow cooker.
- Melt the butter with the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir the leeks in the butter mixture until tender and the smaller pieces start to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the leeks to the slow cooker. In the same pan, cook and stir the ham until the edges start to brown; stir into the soup. Place the bacon into the hot skillet, and pan-fry until the bacon is crisp, about 10 minutes. Cut the bacon into bite-size pieces and stir into the soup. Pour the chicken stock into the hot skillet, and stir to dissolve any brown flavor bits from the skillet; pour the chicken stock into the soup. Season with sea salt and pepper.
- Set the cooker to Low cook the soup until the beans are very tender, 6 to 8 hours. Roughly mash about half the beans with a potato masher to thicken the soup.
Cook’s NoteFeel free to play with the seasoning amounts to fit your personal choice. Of course, it can be cooked on the stove top for a shorter period of time. I find that the little extra effort of stir-frying the leeks, ham, and bacon brings a richness to this dish and is more than worth it.
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