While making this soup I was enjoying this free caramel flan latte from Starbucks. Yes, a free caramel flan latte. It's their new seasonal latte and for one day (yesterday) if you were a Starbucks rewards member, they gave you one for free! Now I'm not much of a sugar and milk in my coffee kind of person, but I splurge once in a while. Besides, I can't say no to anything free. YUM!
Ok on to the soup. Cold weather means soup, and lots of it. When it's cold outside, all that I seem to make is soup. We eat the leftovers all week long, and neither Aaron nor I mind that at all! I started this week off with vegetarian chili (so good you don't even miss the meat), and I ended it with green bean soup. This soup is part of my heritage. I have so many fond memories of eating it either at Schmeckfest during the cold South Dakota spring, or at my Aunt Shirley's during the chilly holidays. Food with wonderful memories attached is always the best kind of food.
Unfortunately this is not Aunt Shirley's recipe (I'll have to track that down someday), but it still tastes pretty darn good, especially if it's cold outside! It's so easy, and you don't have to worry about getting the measurements exact. I hardly ever measure anything when I make soup, but it always comes out great!
The ham bone is what makes this soup so good. Put it in a crock pot and cover with water.
Add the green beans.
Then the onions and potatoes.
Add the seasonings and stir it up. Cook on high for about 6 hours.
Take out the ham bone and shred up the meat. Put the meat back into the pot and stir.
This soup doesn't really need anything to go with it, but it's great with bread too. I made a garlic focaccia to go with it.
Green Bean Soup
1 ham bone with about 1 1/2 cups of meat on it (you can make it without the bone and just used chopped up ham, but it won't be quite as tasty)
1 1/2 lbs green beans, fresh or frozen, cut into 1 inch long pieces
1 small onion, chopped
2 medium size potatoes, cut into small cubes (I like to scrub and leave the peel on mine, but you can peel them if you like)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Remove visible fat from the ham bone and place it in a slow cooker. Add enough water to almost cover the ham bone.
Add green beans, onion, potatoes, bay leaf, parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper. Hold off on the salt for now. Hams can be so salty, so let it cook before adding salt.
Cook on high for about 6 hours.
Once the meat easily falls from the bone, take it out and shred it with two forks. Return the meat to the pot (leave the bone out) and stir.
Taste and season accordingly.
Skim fat off the top if necessary.
Serve with oyster crackers, saltines, or some chewy bread. The garlic focaccia was excellent. Also note that you will have more broth than necessary, so be sure to serve it accordingly.