Ham, bean, and potato soup

For this recipe, I used a ham that my husband smoked on the green egg. Deli ham would work just the same but would give a slightly different flavor.

My cook times for this recipe result in the beans being so cooked that they fall apart. It leaves a creamy buttery texture. If you perfer more firm beans then you should decrease the cooking time my 30-45 minutes.

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3 stalks celery, diced small

1 cup sliced carrot

1/2 onion, diced small

2 cloves garlic, diced small

10 ounces dried white beans

6 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

1-2 cups cubed ham

1 large russet potato, diced

1 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder

2 bay leaves

3 sprigs thyme – remove stems

1 teaspoom white pepper

pinch or more cayenne

3 tablespoons butter

Clean and rinse the beans. Place the beans in water with salt. Bring this to a full rolling boil. Remove it from heat and cover the pot. Let them sit for 60 minutes.

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Turn the heat back on. Add all of the ingredients to the pot except the butter and ham. Place a few pieces of ham into the pot (1/4 cup) and reserve the rest. Simmer on low covered for 60 minutes. Stir the mixture every 15 minutes. Add water is needed. It is supposed to be a thicker soup.

After an hour, add the diced ham and butter. Cover and cook another 30 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Serve with crusty french bread or corn bread.

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