Help me soup up this hambone.
December 27, 2010 8:39 AM   Subscribe

After-Christmas dinner: as part of the leftovers distribution, I now have the bone from the ham. How should I best make awesome soup with it? Difficulty: no split pea.

Along with a nice batch of ham, I also ended up with the bone from the Christmas ham. (It's a Costco spiral-sliced ham; IMHO these things are better than Honey-Baked Ham.) They trimmed the meat off as good as possible, but couldn't get it all, so there's yet more flavor waiting there. My wife doesn't care for split pea soup, so that's out. I perused the soup threads but didn't find anything to this specific circumstance. Help me make the bestest after-Christmas soup ever!
posted by azpenguin to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Classic southern bean soup. Take whatever kind of beans you like, or a bean mix, and soak them. Boil the ham bone w/ a chopped onion, a carrot, and a celery stalk, a bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste. (Remember you can always add more spices later!)

Strain the stock, let it cool, and skim off the fat. Combine the stock, the beans, a bit of bean liquid depending on how soupy you want it to be.

Put in things that make soups good: fresh herbs, vegetables, spices, meats. For instance: when I made this last week I put in andouille sausage (sliced and pre-seared in a skillet), onions (chopped and cooked in the sausage drippings for a bit), and celery.

You can cook your veggies and meats either directly in the soup, or on the side (either poached or sauteed for meats; sauteed for veggies usually).

Let it sit for an hour or two on a low flame, or over night in a crock pot.

Let there be soup for all!
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 8:48 AM on December 27, 2010

Oooh - if you want to do asian-inspired, the basic ramen broth is pork-bone-based. Here's a link to pork-based ramen broth; more probably readily available from your friend Google...
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 8:51 AM on December 27, 2010

Saw this on the TV the other day and it looked yummy.
posted by emilyw at 8:53 AM on December 27, 2010

In case your wife is against all beans, I like to make a potato corn soup with a ham bone. I boil the hambone down with a few few diced potatoes until it's developed a full flavor and then add mash up all the potato, add cream, more diced potato and some corn kernels.

Sorry, I've never been on for recipes.
posted by advicepig at 8:54 AM on December 27, 2010

Mushroom Barley! (with ham, natch)

You do your stock with the ham bone, carrots, onion (for nice color, stick in a few of the onion skins), celery (don't forget the leaves!), bay leaf, maybe some additional beef bones or chicken parts, and dried mushrooms (porcinis if you can get them). Simmer slow and low for a long time. When it's delicious and flavorful, dissect and chop your ham bits & veggies and set them aside. Toss a variety of fresh mushrooms into the broth. In my family it was normally shitakes (thinly cut into strips), criminis (quartered), and whatever funky one I could convince my mom to get at the time (thinly sliced), and let them cook through. Add your dry barley and let it thicken the soup and cook all the way through, and toss in the ham & veggies. It's nice to add some wine as well, if you have some. This is a winter staple for us - it freezes beautifully.
posted by Mizu at 9:06 AM on December 27, 2010

Best answer: I eat this without the rice and it's souplike and arguably the highest and best use of a ham bone that is not split pea soup:

Cajun Red Beans and Rice


1 pound dry red beans
3 quarts water
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
4 bay leaves
1 cup chopped sweet green pepper
4 tablespoons chopped garlic
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 teaspoons dried thyme - crushed
1 pound andouille sausage - cut into 1/4 in.pieces
1 good ham bone and small chunks of ham
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
Tabasco, if desired.


Pick through beans to remove bad beans; rinse thoroughly.
In a 10 quart pot combine beans, water, ham bone with ham, andouille sausage, onion, celery, and bay leaves.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat.
Cove and cook over low heat, for about 1&1/2 hours or until beans are tender.
Stir and mash beans against side of pan.
Add green pepper, garlic, parsley, thyme, salt, and black pepper.
Cook uncovered, over low heat until creamy, about 30 minutes.
Remove bay leaves.
Serve over hot cooked fluffy rice.
Tabasco to taste.
posted by *s at 9:09 AM on December 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

I had a dynamite ham/potato/cabbage soup at at a restaurant last week. Seemed like it started out with a basic stock as outlined above. Ham bones tend to make a really rich and somewhat salty stock.
posted by Sir Cholmondeley at 9:15 AM on December 27, 2010

If I had a hambone, I'd save it a couple of days and use it for making the best possible blackeyed peas for hopping John to go with cabbage for a New Year's meal to bring some good luck all around.
posted by Anitanola at 9:41 AM on December 27, 2010

Pozole! we use approximately this recipe with our hambone every year.
posted by ansate at 11:16 AM on December 27, 2010

I just made this basic bean and ham soup and it was surprisingly delicious. I used white beans and they were tender but not mushy.
posted by ms.v. at 12:09 PM on December 27, 2010

Nthing the suggestions for a variation on white bean soup, but your soup will be mind-blowing if you use heirloom Yellow Eye beans from Rancho Gordo. (Don't laugh at me for suggesting you mail-order your beans; just do it and thank me later.)

Here's a recipe if you need one.
posted by willbaude at 1:09 PM on December 27, 2010

I usually make it with some ham on the bone that I then shred into the soup, but Senate Bean Soup is a classic and will work w/o much ham. I like it better with the mashed potatoes to thicken it.

(If you google Senate Bean Soup you can come up with recipes for smaller quantities. I also like to add carrots.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:54 PM on December 27, 2010

Any bean soup will benefit from a ham bone. Or cook kale, collards or other greens. I'd probably make a thick beans-n-greens soup with a mix of beans, plenty of chopped kale and collards, carrots and water or stock. Potato or corn chowder would be nice, as well.
posted by Mom at 8:53 AM on December 29, 2010

Response by poster: You guys rock. Thanks!
posted by azpenguin at 10:28 PM on December 29, 2010

We made Mizu's hambone and barley soup, and it was WONDERFUL. Expect to spend about 4-5 hours on the stock and another hour to hour and a half for the barley to cook open. You don't want to overcook the barley, but you don't want it to be TOO tough.
posted by SpecialK at 6:18 PM on December 31, 2010

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