The first Sunday of the month has been my favorite since I could remember. Every month on that first Sunday my entire family would meet at my grandmother’s house for a family dinner. For whatever reason since I have been growing up everyone who came to my gram’s house loved her homemade ham and bean soup. I enjoyed not only eating a delicious meal but being with my family once a month to catch up was really enjoyable. We never knew why this was the meal almost every Sunday of each month when we got together until my younger cousin asked my gram. When he asked my gram said “when I was growing up this was our traditional Sunday dinner because my father would pick potatoes from the small field behind the house and we would always get the ham and beans from the butcher down the road.” So by her doing that as she grew up we transitioned into the same process except from where we are getting the foods because that has changed slightly.
While most of us can’t wait until the first Sunday of every month to eat what we like to think is the best ham and bean soup ever we also just really enjoy the fact that we have something to look forward to that involves our whole family. The soup was not the only thing that we ate each Sunday but a lot of the other vegetables and meats that we had with it often did not really get eaten because none of us could ever have enough of the soup.
Below is listed my gram’s recipe for the ham and bean soup:
1 pound of dry Northern beans
1 ham hock
1/2 pound of potatoes
1 cup of chopped carrots
1/2 stalk of chopped celery
1 cup of chopped onions
1 teaspoon of mustard powder & minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon of salt & black pepper
2 bay leaves
8 cups of wate
Rinse the beans, sorting out any broken or discolored ones. In a large pot over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Add the salt and the beans and remove from heat. Let beans sit in the hot water for at least 60 minutes.
After the 60 minutes of soaking, return the pot to high heat and place the ham bone, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, mustard and bay leaves in the pot. Stir well, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 60 more minutes.
Remove ham bone and discard. Season with ground white pepper to taste.