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Superb Ham and Bean Soup

Meaty ham bone and any leftover scraps of meat
1 16oz can pinto beans
1 16oz can black beans
1 16oz can black-eyed peas
1 16oz can great northern white beans (or navy beans)
1 16oz can red kidney beans
1 can Progresso lentil soup
6 quarts water
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
Pinch of ginger
2 celery stalks, split lengthwise
1/2 lb Ditalini pasta (precooked)
Salt and pepper to taste

Place ham bone, meat scraps, celery stalks, minced garlic, ginger,
and chopped onions in a large stock pot (10 qt). Add approx. 6
quarts of water so the pot is about 3/4 full. Place lid on pot
slightly off-center to allow steam to escape. Boil on medium-high
heat for 3 hours, adding enough water every 1/2 hour to keep the
pot at 3/4 full.

Remove ham bone and take off meat, cutting into small bits, discard
fat. Remove meat scraps and cut into small bits, discard fat.
Remove celery stalks and discard. Replace lean meat into soup pot.
Drain water from all cans of beans and add to pot. Add lentil
soup, crushed tomatoes, and lemon juice. Reduce heat to medium.

In a separate pot, boil the 1/2 lb of Ditalini pasta until just
tender. Drain and add pasta to the soup pot. Continue to cook on
medium heat for 1/2 hr. Add salt and pepper to taste, (we found
none is usually needed). Reduce heat to simmer until ready to

Makes 15-20 servings. Soup may be frozen.


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