Spicy Ham and Beans with Smoked Sausage and Cottage Cheese!!

We ALWAYS top our beans with cottage cheese!!
Tonight the temperature is dropping to 28 degrees here in southern Indiana.  Our first freeze which means this afternoon I will be hauling in all of those dog gone house plants that I can't kill.  Ha ha...

If you have been with me before in the fall you know how I hate this day.  I have WAY too many house plants and I can't bear to kill or toss them but I really don't have enough room for them as many of them are soooo big. I have had some of them for 20+ years, if you can believe that!!

So I need an easy supper for my hubby with a cold.  Something to warm and comfort him.  Ham and beans is my call for today.  Us older folks have grown up with ham and beans and it was very common for our Mother's to have had beans at supper time.

My Dad loved a meal of navy bean, cottage cheese, and fried potatoes with bacon on the side.

Today I have started a pot to share with my son Mike who will be by this evening to pick up his portion of my potion.


2 C. each dried pinto, navy, and great northern beans, soak in water to cover well over night.

I like this combination because the navy beans cook down and thicken the soup,  the great northern's maintain their shape and do not, and the pintos have a wonderful flavor and add to the overall taste of my concoction.

Rinse the beans again and drain.  Add then to a large heavy bottomed kettle.

8 C. chicken broth (can use water and bouillon cubes)
2 bay leaves
2 dried hot peppers
2 onions chopped
5 cloves of garlic minced
2 t. kosher salt
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
5-6 Oz. ham

16 Oz. smoked sausage cut into spoon sized slices
2 diced potatoes
1diced carrot

Add the broth and seasonings and ham to the beans and mix together.  Bring to a rolling boil and reduce to medium.  Watch this pot as it may boil some of the liquid away and then you will need to add additional water.  Keep about 1/2" over the top of the beans at all times.  Cook for about an hour then reduce the heat further and slow simmer or transfer to a slow cooker to simmer the rest of the day.

About 45 minutes prior to serving add the diced potato, carrot, and slices of the smoked sausage to the soup and finish cooking over low heat .

Serve pipping hot in bowls with a generous dollop of cottage cheese in the center.

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