Soup: The Legend of the Contraband Ham

Once upon a time there was a fellow with a problem. His wife had wanted a HoneyBaked Ham for Christmas dinner and the line was out the door. Not being one to wait, this fellow decided to take a stroll around to the loading dock and give a knock at the door. When a worker bee opened the door this wise fellow offered the lad twenty American dollars, plus the price of the ham, to make one fall out of the back door for him.

Knowing a good thing when he'd heard it, the worker bee delivered the ham, collected his fee, and went back to work. That special, Christmas Miracle of a ham, and its tale, became burned forever into that clever fellow's family lore as "The Contraband Ham". Not a Christmas goes by when its praises aren't sung.

Well, I'm not saying that I know this fellow, and I'm not saying that I don't, but I do seem to end up with the leftovers of a certain type of ham every year. I'm not saying how.

Of course, the first order of business are post-Christmas sandwiches.

Ham, Avocado, Mixed Greens, Unsalted Butter, Light Mayo, Salt, Pepper, on Sourdough

Ham, Cheddar, Lettuce, EV Olive Oil & Aged Balsamic Vinegar, Sourdough (Shishito Pepper Side)

So, when another year's sandwich time was over, it was time to take that ham bone and make some bean and ham soup to warm these cooler days. I'm telling you that it's as easy as saying "Crock-Pot", or "contraband". Here's the how:

Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup:


1 Ham bone with meat still attached
2 Carrots cut into one inch chunks
1 Onion, diced
1/4 Cup Rosemary (stemmed)
1/4 Cup Tarragon (stemmed)
1/4 Cup Sage (I used Berggarten and Purple Sages)
1/4 Cup fresh oregano (stemmed)
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
3 Dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 Cup red wine
3 Cloves of garlic, 2 peeled and sliced, one peeled and smashed
1 Russet potato, peeled and cut into one inch chunks
4 Cups of Chicken/Turkey/Vegetable/Faux Chicken Stock (I used the last one)
1 Cup of H2O (plus water for soaking the beans if you don't like to uses soaking liquid for cooking)
1Cup of Navy or Pinto beans
Salt and pepper to taste


Sweat one carrot and half of the onion in butter and oil (I used avocado) for about fifteen minutes. Add them to a soup sock or bundle them in cheese cloth along with the tarragon, rosemary, and half of the sage. Place the bundle into the crock pot along with the ham bone and cover with stock and water. Cook on low overnight and soak the beans in a separate pot.

The next morning, remove the meat from the ham bone and remove the bone from the pot. Drain the beans, reserving one cup of soaking liquid for cooking (if desired). Next, dice the rest of the onion, chop the second carrot, and the garlic cloves. Sweat them with a pinch of salt for 15 minutes. Cut up the potato and add it all to the pot along with the beans, the rest of the sage, and the oregano leaves. Muddle the leaves for the best results. Also at this time add the wine, dried oregano, Worcestershire sauce and cook on low until the beans are done (for me it was about an hour and half - two hours).

Serve topped with fresh parsley.



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