This is a wonderful fall or winter meal, served with thick slices of warm homemade bread. The recipe evolved over the years as I added to it. I often double it and freeze what we don't eat. That way, I can throw some in a pot for a quick meal or if unexpected guests drop by. —Emily Chaney, Penobscot, Maine
"These are the best beans and ham you'll ever taste—bar none!" confirms Tom Greaves from Carrollton, Illinois. "Friends rave about this hearty soup that I serve hot off the grill." For easy cleanup, consider covering the outside of your Dutch oven with heavy-duty foil first.
"When I was a child, white beans were a staple at our table," says Gloria. "My husband, Bill, also loves to eat beans. "Our four children, six grandchildren and one great grandchild are not as fond of beans, but they still enjoy this tempting chili."
This recipe is from a bean soup gift pack I developed as a fund-raiser for our church. We provide it along with the beans and a packet containing all the spices. The recipient just adds water and a can of tomatoes for a delicious pot of savory soup.
-Doris Cox, South Orange, New Jersey
On a chilly day, what could be more comforting than a pot of this homemade soup simmering on the stove? The mix of ham, beans ans squash is such a hearty combination, you'll savor every steamy spoonful.
This is a hearty soup widely served here, especially at the many restaurants specializing in Basque cuisine. It's a nice way to use the abundant vegetables that are available this time of year. Give it a try this harvest season.