Ham & Bean Soup

1 leftover ham bone, about 2 1/2 lbs
leftover sliced ham, cubed
4 stalks celery, diced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
7 c cooked beans, I had a mix of cannellini, great northern, and butter beans
(1 19oz. can cannellini, 2 15oz. cans great northern, and 2 15oz. cans butter beans, drained)
1 29oz. can cream of celery soup
2 c milk
1 tsp. ham base
pepper to taste

Take the ham bone and remove as much of the meat at possible, mine had a few cupfuls left clinging to the bone. Cube the ham and set aside, you will need about 4-5 cups.

Add 2-3 tablespoons of oil to a large stock pot on a medium heat. Add the ham bone and turn a few times to brown the remaining fat on the bone. Toss in the celery, onion, and garlic and cook until soft and fragrant. Add 6 cups of water, cover with a lid and boil for 20 minutes to make a quick stock.

Add the cubed ham, beans, soup, milk, ham base, and pepper to taste. You will likely not need any salt. Simmer over medium low heat about 30 minutes. Remove the ham bone, serve with crusty bread, crackers, or skillet cornbread.
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