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Bean, Ham Bone and White Corn Soup
1 package Great Northern white beans - (16 oz)
1 ham bone with a little meat on it
1 can whole-kernel white corn - (15 1/4 oz) -- undrained
2 cans chicken stock - (14 1/2 oz ea)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper -- or to taste
3 bay leaves -- (optional)
Additional water to cover -- if needed
1 large onion -- chopped
3 celery stalks -- chopped
3 carrots -- diced small
3 garlic cloves -- sliced
1 jalapeņo pepper -- seeded, quartered
2 cans stewed or diced tomatoes - (14 1/2 oz ea) -- pureed
Salt -- to taste
Sliced green onions -- to taste
Soak the beans in cold water to cover overnight.
Remove meat from the ham bone, cut it into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 cups) and reserve. Drain beans and place in the slow cooker with the ham bone. Add corn, chicken stock, oregano, paprika, chili powder, black pepper, bay leaves, if using, and additional water or stock, if needed, to slightly cover. Cover slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.
Add the remaining ingredients except reserved ham cubes and green onions, mix well. Shift cooker to LOW setting and cook for about 5 additional hours. For more zing, add cayenne or crushed red pepper flakes when adding second set of ingredients.
About 30 to 40 minutes before end of cooking time, remove bay leaves; mash some of the beans against the side of the liner to thicken the soup slightly; add the reserved ham cubes and sliced green onions. Taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Serve as complete meal or over rice. Leftovers freeze well.
This recipe yields 10 servings.
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