This is what my ham leftover ham bone looked like before cooking in the soup.
Bean and Ham Soup
Adapted from a recipe by Paula Deen
1 lb dry small white navy beans
2 qts. Water
2 ribs celery, chopped
(I also added one leek, chopped - because I had one in the fridge!)
1 thick slice leftover spiral ham, cut into small pieces, or the ham hock of a leftover spiral ham (Paula Deen says that you shouldn’t use a country ham which is too salty)
1 c. sliced carrots
1 TBSP olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
Salt and pepper
Rinse the beans in hot water until they are white (I couldn’t see a whole lot of difference in color). Place them in a stockpot, add the water and celery (and leek if you decide to use it, along with the ham hock if that is what you are using). Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 3 hours. At the 2 ½ hour point, add the sliced carrots.
Heat the olive oil and sauté the onion until lightly browned. Add the cooked onion to the pot of beans. Remove about 1 cup of the bean mixture and puree in a blender or food processor, and return to the soup (this makes it creamy!) At this point, either remove the ham hock and cut off any ham that is left on it, or put in the slice of ham, cut into pieces. Just before serving, season the soup with salt and pepper as needed, to taste.