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  Best Ham and Bean Soup  
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  Difficulty: Easy
Rating: No Rating

1 (20 ounce) package 15 bean mixture,
soaked overnight (I used 2 cans kidney beans)
1 ham bone
2 1/2 cups cubed ham
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
5 large carrots, chopped
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, with
liquid ( I used 1 can diced fire roasted toms)
1 (12 fluid ounce) can low-sodium
vegetable juice (I used only chicken broth in this soup)
3 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chili powder
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried parsley
3 tablespoons lemon juice
7 cups low fat, low sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Place the soaked beans into a large pot and fill with enough water to cover by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low for 30 minutes. Drain. Add the ham bone, ham, onion, celery, carrots, tomatoes, vegetable juice, and vegetable broth. Season with Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, chili powder, bay leaves, pepper, parsley and lemon juice. Pour in enough of the chicken broth to cover the ingredients.
2. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 8 hours. Add more chicken broth as needed throughout the day. Remove the ham bone and season with salt if needed. Continue to simmer for a couple more hours. Remove bay leaves before serving.

***I cooked the soup according to the directions at a low simmer for about 8 hours, without the kidney beans. Then put the soup in the fridge over night. In the morning I skimmed the top of fat off the soup and added the kidney beans simmered for 1/2 hour.

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