We had planned a camping trip for my birthday, and we usually make a giant pot of chili to bring along, but wanting something different, and having a craving for beans lately, I thought I would experiment with a ham and bean soup. This soup is rich and satisfying, but also light and healthy feeling, something you could enjoy all year.
2 cans butter beans - rinsed
2 celery sticks - diced
1 small onion - diced
3 tablespoons butter
3-4 garlic gloves - minced
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon hot sauce
2 tablespoons liquid smoke (if Gluten free make sure this ingredient is)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1-2 bay leaves
pinch of red pepper flake1/3 to 1/2 cup half and half (to thin soup)
Soak dried beans overnight in 8 cups of water. Drain and rinse in the morning picking through or small pebbles and other strange things, add to crock pot. (Soaking beans separately will help remove most of the phytic acid - a compound that inhibits the absorption of several minerals; such as zinc and iron, and to a lesser extent, calcium and magnesium.)
Turn on high for 8 hours. Remove ham bone, and stir in half and half until its a consistency that you like.
Adjust seasonings if needed.
Serve with warm cornbread. (Jalapeno Pepperjack Cornbread)