There is seriously no way to make this look appetizing in a photo, but I PROMISE you, it is so delicious!!
One of my favorite things to make for eats-all-week is a ham. I get mine at Costco (have you figured me out yet??) and it's NOT organic, but I choose my battles. It's good protein, which is what my meals revolve around. And good veggies, but the meats are what I enjoy the most. I've had organic ham before, and not only does it not taste as good, but it's 5X the price per pound.
In the past, I've always carved right around the ham bone, and tossed the rest in the trash. But this time I kept it and froze it until I had a chance to use it in a soup. Since we were sick over Christmas with a cold, I've been hankering to make my own bone broths and bone broth-based soups. This was my first chance to use it.
I looked at many different recipes online for the right combination of ingredients. I do this a lot. There is hardly ever one recipe that I like all of. So I look at several, and pick out the things I like in each one and put them together to see what happens. Usually, I have an idea of what I want and just need to confirm the base is correctly derived. Everyone in this house agrees: this ham bone soup is a winner. And it's super easy in the crock pot!
Ham Bone Crock Pot Soup:
1 meaty ham bone
1 onion, diced
3 large carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 large sweet potatoes, cubed
1 can white hominy (corn was the original intent, but it's harder on G's belly)
1 can diced tomatoes
6+ cups of chicken broth (enough to cover the ham bone ~3/4 way) - I used 7 cups
2 cups of diced ham (I had 3 cups left over still so I chucked it all in)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 bay leaves
1. Combine all ingredients except sweet potatoes in slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours
2. Remove ham bone and separate all usable meat, dice, and return to slow cooker
3. Add sweet potatoes
4. Continue cooking on low for 1-2 more hours
5. Remove bay leaves (and any other ham gristle you spot) & serve
A serving size for me was about 1.5 cups, which consisted of about 60% bulk and 40% broth. This made approximately 10 servings of soup total.
A storage solution for the rest: A mega mason jar. Or two.