Hearty Ham and Bean Soup

Hearthy Ham and Navy Bean Soup is a great way to use up your leftover holiday ham!

Here I am after all my hard work picking, and choosing and then wrapping dozens of gifts for my kids, their spouses, and my grandkiddos. Right before the chaos began I wanted to take a picture. After all….you know it’s a rush after all the hard work. I’m with 2 sweet little girls all excited to see what is inside each box! They were so cute trying to read names and pass out all the presents to everybody.  

We had a great time on Christmas ripping open the presents and playing with the grandkids and watching their sweet faces when they loved something they got. That’s the best part of Christmas isn’t it? 

Now you might not think this face is so sweet, but when he likes something….it shows on his face…..my son Jeffrey, the hunter. 

Now this is definitely one of the sweetest faces of the day. AND the cutest picture I snapped all day. She wouldn’t take her fairy wings or skirt off even to eat. And I think she loved her Barbie Big Wheels. 

Recipe for Hearty Ham and Bean Soup

1 medium onion diced and sauteed in 2 tablespoons of butter
2 Tablespoons of flour
1 cup diced celery (2 to 3 stalks)
1 cup sliced carrots (3 carrots or 15 mini carrots sliced)
2 cups of diced ham (or boil ham bone and cut and dice leftover ham)
2 cups water
1 – 1 1/2 cups milk (depending on how thick you like your soup)
1 can great Northern beans 
1 can lima or butter beans 
1/3 cup of sour cream 
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
salt and pepper to taste
a sprinkle of parsley flakes on top

Saute the chopped sweet onion in 2 Tablespoons of butter with a little squirt of oil till they are caramelized. Then add the 2 Tablespoons of flour and let that cook for a minute. Then add 1/2 cup milk and make a white cream. Then add the water and the veggies and the chopped ham. (If you boiled your ham bone for a few hours beforehand then just use the water from that and cut off 2 cups of ham meat into diced pieces. Let the veggies cook for about 15 minutes. Then add the beans. You can just add 1 can if you are not a bean fan. Then add the rest of the milk and sour cream and seasonings. Simmer on low for another 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. I will sometimes add some parsley too just for looks at the end. 

Pretty brunch table set up. I got the linens from Kohls and the China from Shopko. I love the runner I found recently to match and the cute little tea lights. My mom got me these little blue egg nog glasses many years ago as a birthday gift. She always made a big deal of family holiday dinners too. I am so glad she did.  

I have been collecting Snowmen china  and table linens for a few years now and have a complete set of cute stuff.  It’s fun to get it out once or twice a year during the December/January months and have everybody over for dinner. 

Here is the cute snowman kiddie table for my 3 granddaughters to eat at. I have 2 cute sets of plates from Target and Shopko.  It is funny how when they are too little to sit at it they want to, and when they are old enough to sit here, they’d rather sit at the big people table. Why is that?

John’s dad playing Santa in his mid eighties was so super sweet. We love him. 

Little Josie, you can barely see her red, glittery, fancy dancer shoes. 

I served my Cranberry Salsa over cream cheese with pretzel crackers and wheat thins. It was a hit with my son-in-law. Check it out HERE.

Anyway, now that Christmas is all over and it’s almost time for New Year’s Day, I am looking for a few more recipes I love to make as comfort foods. Soups are so great when it is cold and snowy. This is one of my very favorites. Everybody will love it, so try it!  And Happy New Year from my family to yours!!