This slow cooker ham and bean soup was incredible. My wife proclaimed it to be the closest we have ever come to duplicating her mom’s recipe. That’s high praise indeed. Every bite is packed with wonderful ham and bean flavor. The broth is nice and thick, perfect on a cool fall day. The ham is tender and delicious. The beans are cooked perfectly. All you need is some hot-out-of-the-oven cornbread and you’re in for one fantastic meal.
This was the first time I’ve cooked using ham base. It really made this slow cooker ham and bean soup amazing. Like its beef counterparts, beef and chicken base, it adds a depth of flavor you just can’t get on your own. At least, not easily.
I made this soup in my slow cooker but you could make it on the stove-top also. Just bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to a slow simmer and continue simmering until the beans are tender, 2-4 hours. Stir them occasionally. Like the slow cooker version, you might find that the soup is even better the next day.
Place beans in a large pan or bowl. Cover with water and let stand overnight. Check the water at least twice to make sure the beans stay covered, adding more water if needed.
Lightly spray a slow cooker with non-stick spray.
Drain the beans and place in the slow cooker.
Add the onions, garlic, ham, water, apple and ham base. Stir.
Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or until beans are tender, stirring occasionally.
Remove apple pieces and serve.
We think this dish is really best (and thicker) the next day. After it has cooked for 8-10 hours and the beans are done, we let it cool then place in the fridge overnight. We reheat the soup on the stovetop and serve.
It was a cold windy day. I do mean windy, too. Every time I looked out the window I saw more and more of our neighbor’s Christmas decorations in our yard. That meant it was time for some stick-to-your-ribs comfort food. Nothing fancy, just something to warm me up before I went outside to rescue the inflatable Santa. But not fancy doesn’t mean not flavorful! This cowboy pasta is good tasty stuff. Cheesy shells, super-flavorful beans, tomatoes and chiles, and ground beef all make for a delicious dish. This so hit the spot and made me forget about the weather outside.
This cowboy pasta definitely hit the spot on a cold day. You can choose your heat level (or not) by using spicy (or not) Rotel. I went with the mild. The Ranch beans have such great flavor by themselves, I didn’t want to drown them out by using super-hot Rotel. It’s your call, it’ll be great either way.
While I’m on the subject of Ranch-style beans…. I love them. They are the tastiest beans ever. I keep them on hand and often substitute them in dishes that call for ‘regular’ canned beans.