Recipe: Ham, Bean and Barley Soup

I’ve had a bunch of dried beans in my pantry for ages and have been waiting for the fall to make a great soup. This recipe is healthy, hearty, and homey! And it makes plenty, so invite a crowd! Here’s what I did:

Sneak Peek at Some of the Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried black beans
  • 1 cup dried red beans
  • 1 cup dried northern beans
  • 1 cup dried mung beans
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • WATER!
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 # turkey ham, chopped
  • 1 c. uncooked pearl barley

Instructions:

First, I took 1 cup each of the following dried beans: black beans, red beans, northern beans, mung beans (the little green ones), and lentils (the little tan ones). I soaked them overnight in a big pot of water.

Beautiful Beans! I felt like I should be doing some kind of Aztec Art, they were so pretty!

Soaking overnight...

Then this morning, I drained and rinsed the beans, and put the big pot on the stove. I melted one stick of butter and added the salt, pepper, spices, and the chopped onion.

Tip: to finely chop an onion, cut a criss cross pattern without going all the way through, then lay the onion on its side and slice. Makes perfect little squares of onions.

Mmm! Onion cooking in butter...one of the most pleasant aromas on earth!

Once the onion was transluscent, I added the rinsed beans, chopped ham, and 8 cups of water.

I used an 8 quart stockpot.

Bring to a boil on high, then turn down to low and simmer for 1 hour. After the hour, add the barley and cook for another 40-45 minutes.

Be sure to invite a crowd...or be ready to eat this for a very long time!

Serve hot! To reheat, I would suggest adding a little water, bringing it back to a boil, then turning down to low to keep it warm.

If you don't have enough bowls to go around, utilize those tea cups from your grandmother! Enjoy!

Recipe by Melissa McKinnon

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2 responses to “Recipe: Ham, Bean and Barley Soup

  1. What a yummy looking recipe. I’m a huge fan of beans. I’ve been experimenting with herbs recently and I’ve found that savory matches beans really well. I’ll have to try your recipe soon although I might do a vegetarian version. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Love the onion tip!!

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