I remember as a teenager having to give a church talk one Sunday about prayer. I told a story of when I was 14 years old and my dad had taken me on a long road trip through Colorado. That’s actually when I learned to drive. I drove for hours and hours on that road trip and learned all about kissing, or actually NOT kissing, and boys, and Choosing the Right. It was a great trip. On the way home though we travelled through some pretty rough weather. We were climbing a mountain pass through one of Colorado’s famous ski areas and the fog was so stinking thick. I was scared. As my dad was driving I remember asking him if we should stop and say a prayer for safety. My dad told me he didn’t dare stop for fear of someone coming up on us from behind and hitting us, but asked if I’d say a little prayer. I did, and the fog lifted. Of course it did. It was one of those Tender Mercies as a kid, and a time I remember gaining a testimony of prayer, and realizing someone was really listening. In referencing this experience in my talk I stated that the fog was as thick as Bean and Bacon and Split Pea Soup COMBINED! In my little 17 year old mind food was what my world revolved around. I’ve giggled over that soup reference now for 20+ years. I guess I’ve always been a food girl.
Bean and Ham Soup is always a favorite at my house. My mom made a huge pot of it the day I had Seth. It smelled so good as we came home from the hospital with our new little bundle. And there is nothing better on a cold blustery day than soup simmering away all day. The recipe is pretty simple. Measurements are approximate, and you can add more of whatever you like or leave things out as well.
This time making the soup I added Kale since we’re a little addicted to the stuff. I love how it tastes in soup, and the texture. My kids like it too, but if you’re afraid of what your family will think, leave it out. It’s dang good both ways:)
8 c. water or enough to cover your veggies by an inch or so
3-4 carrots chopped
1 onion chopped
2-3 ribs celery chopped
2-3 potatoes cubed
1 ham bone or leftover ham shank
In a large pot I place all these ingredients together and bring to a boil. I like a lot of veggies so I make sure there’s a lot of them in my pot. I will let this mixture simmer away for a couple of hours usually. The potatoes start to fall apart and the ham should be falling off the ham bone by this time. I remove the bone and pick all the ham bits off and place them back in the soup. Add:
6-8 chicken bouillon cube
2-4 15oz. cans of white beans or Navy beans
I let this simmer away for 20 mins or so and taste the soup. If it needs more salt and pepper this is the time to add it. I usually take a potato masher at this point and kind of mash the soup a little. I like the beans to be broken down a bit. Now add:
2-3 big handfuls chopped Kale
Bring the soup back to a low bubble and cook 5-10 minutes more to let the Kale wilt and soften. Season to taste and serve with some bread or crackers.
Here’s a great Mormon Message about Tender Mercies