Sometimes a recipe starts out as one thing and by the time you are done, you have something else. That was the way this one went. Although I don’t think I really changed it that much, I have to say that this dish was inspired by this recipe here.
I liked the recipe from the fact that it seemed like a nice side dish and/or soup but the more I looked at it as a soup (main dish) the more I felt like it just was enough. Both from a quantity perspective and a “this needs something more” perspective. The easiest thing to do was to add ham and make it a ham and bean soup which is ultimately what I decided to do.
For the beans themselves, I couldn’t find a package of heirloom beams but found one that was a “15 bean” mix that seemed like it would work. That package had about three cups of dried bean which led me to use the whole package and adjust the recipe from there. I wound up making this in stages as I miscalculated how many nights I was going to be home this last week compared to how many recipes I bought food for. So…I soaked the beans overnight on Monday. There were no instructions within this recipe on how to soak e them (how much, how long, etc.) so I (sort of) followed the directions on the bean package. I covered the beans with what I felt like was enough and let them sit.
Tuesday morning I poured off the water, added the stock and cooked the beans for about an hour after they got to a simmer. Which meant it was closer to one and a half hours from when I turned the stove on. I let them cool for about an hour and stuck them in the fridge. When I got home after work, I popped them back in the stove and finished the recipe. Which basically meant heating them back up, adding the cream and then the ham. Not a whole lot more “to do” but it was a heck of a lot easier having done all the prep work prior.
I used about 12 ounces of ham. It was pre-sliced and I cut it into smaller pieces. The only thing I didn’t add was any thyme. The store was out of fresh thyme and I figured I would use some dried but then I learned I was out of that at home. I think it worked well without it but it would have, obviously, added more flavor of it had been there. Everyone liked it. The girls ate it a lot faster than expected.