Ham & Bean Soup

I’ve been working on a menu plan for this week. I’ll post it Monday as part of menu plan Monday. One of the things I’m planning to make is Ham & Beans and Cornbread. It’s a great way to use up leftover ham, the ham bone or ham hocks. We have a family of 6. This usually allows for some leftovers but not enough for another meal. Here’s how I do it.

Ham & Bean Soup

2 lbs northern or navy beans
1-2 onions
ham bone, leftover ham pieces, or ham hocks
Use whatever you have.
salt & pepper

Wash your beans in a colander and pick out all the uglies, dirt and stones. If you have time, you can soak these overnight to shorten cooking time and make them less gassy.

Put your beans, chopped onion(s) and ham bone, pieces, or hocks into a large soup pot. Mine is 10 quarts. Add pepper generously. Do not add salt at this time. It will make the beans tough.

Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 2-3 hours until the beans are as soft as you like them. We like them very soft and beginning to break apart. Now is the time to add your salt. I usually add about a tablespoonful then put additional salt and pepper on the table for seasoning.

This is a favorite at our house all year round. It is frugal; because, it can be made with ham leftovers or you can buy a package of ham hocks and just use one or two quite inexpensively.

We use the cornbread recipe on the Quaker cornmeal box. We add about half a cup of extra sugar because we like it sweet. We’ve also added a can of green chiles or drained corn with good results. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your recipes.

Wife and Mother to a Whole Bunch of Soup Lovers

See my complete list of recipes in the sidebar at my other blog:
Harvest Lane Cottage

Rising Grocery Prices and a Frugal Recipe

 I went to the grocery store today for a few things.  I wanted to buy some meat.  We’ve been eating a lot of beans and soups lately.  I thought some pork chops or a beef roast or a roasting chicken might be a nice change.  I was shocked to see how much the prices have gone up!  I left the store without them.  I must admit it was most upsetting.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who has noticed the rapidly rising food prices.  In response, I’m going to share a frugal recipe.  I’d love to read your favorite low cost recipes and tips if you’ll leave a comment. 

I hope you enjoy this!


Happy at Home




Lentils and Rice


This is thick, like a casserole, rather than soupy.

This is good enough to serve to company! We did!


4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

4 t olive or canola oil

1 ½ c dry lentils, rinsed

1 ½ c brown rice

6 t chicken bouillon

1 t dried oregano

1 t basil

8 c water

In a soup pot, sauté the onion and garlic in the canola oil.

Add the remaining ingredients and bring it to a full boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 45 to 50 minutes. The water should be mostly absorbed.

This would serve 8 amply. I served 4 adults and 8 children and had just enough.

It was good with cornbread.

Homemade Refried Beans

Refried beans

These make delicious burritos!


4 cups of pinto beans (2 lbs.)

1 small onion, chopped

3-5 garlic cloves, chopped

2 T canola oil

Put the beans in a colander. Sort out all the uglies and broken beans. Then rinse them well in cool water, continuing to look for bad ones.

Now put everything in a your Crock Pot. Cook on high for around 7 or 8 hours. If you run out of time, you can put them on the stove to finish them up. You want them good and soft. Now add salt to taste, usually at least a tablespoon. Don’t put it in until your beans are soft, or they’ll be tough.

Now, put 3 or 4 ladles full of beans and juice in a large skillet. I spray mine with cooking spray first. Now, over medium heat, mash the beans until they have the consistency of refried beans. If you want to, add some shredded cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese. Now they’re ready to wrap up in warmed tortillas for burritos or use for dip with chips.