Repeat after me:
“I, beautiful, kind, smart and valued reader of Not Rachael Ray, do solemnly swear, to never, ever, ever throw away a ham bone.”
Unless you’re a vegetarian or you don’t eat pork for religious reasons. But then I’m not really sure what you’re doing with a ham bone in the first place.
The ham bone takes this soup from mediocre to amazingly delicious. Trust me.
Did you know you can freeze ham bones? Now you really have no excuses for throwing it out. Just toss it in a zip-top bag and stick it in your freezer until you’re ready to make this soup.
You might be thinking, “Doesn’t the 16 bean dried bean mix come with a packet of ham flavoring?”
Doesn’t look like ham to me!
And just for kicks, here is the list of ingredients: Salt, dextrose, maltodextrin, sugar, bacon flavor (which has nine ingredients in and of itself), disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, ham flavor (which has an additional four ingredients), and silicon dioxide added as an anti-caking aid.
An anti-caking aid? Gross! Now I’m a label reader, but I’m not an obsessive label reader. Yes, I put some things in my body that probably aren’t the best for me and probably aren’t all-natural, but why put in nine ingredient “bacon flavor” when all you need is a ham bone and a couple of spices and herbs? And I’m willing to bet that it probably even tastes better than that little tiny package labeled “ham.”
Verdict: I love the stuff. Total comfort food. Healthy too!
Husband’s take: He calls it slop, but he likes it. Said, “It is really filling!” That’s a good thing when you’re feeding a man.
Changes I would make: None.