Ham is a holiday classic.

It’s easy to prepare and can be big enough to feed a crowd, but you often end up with Tupperware containers filled with leftovers.

While the ham sandwiches are fun for a day or so, the last thing you want to do is eat leftover ham sandwiches for days on end.  Creating interesting and different dishes that are healthy and tasty can be a challenge.

Ham bone and bean soup is an easy way to use up those leftovers and warm up your family on a cold winter day. Creating your own stock from the ham bone allows you to control the salt content, making this a healthier choice than simply using a can of soup as a base.

How to Make Ham Stock:

Ham stock is made by simmering the ham bone with a stockpot full of water for a few hours. Add a personal touch, and more flavor by adding onions, carrots, celery and your favorite herbs. My favorite is thyme, but rosemary and sage work equally well. Strain out all of the solids and use the stock right away or let it cool and refrigerate or freeze for later use.

Now you are ready to make your soup.  Add pieces of left over ham, and white beans to your stock. The rest of the soup is up to you and your creativity. Root vegetables like carrots or potatoes add substance and an earthiness. You can add leafy greens like spinach or kale to give a healthy kick and some gorgeous green color. Combine all of the ingredients and simmer until heated through and vegetables are tender (if using). Once you have the base recipe down, customizing it with what you have in your pantry or refrigerator is easy.

Transform your holiday left overs into something new and exciting with Randall Great Northern Beans.