July in Iowa is never cool. I needed freezer space for fresh  picked strawberries, rhubarb, peaches and whatnot. Especially the WhatNot. The 2 hambones and dibs&dabs of frozen veggies had to go.

I made a Ham Broth late one afternoon and strained it before I went to bed. I put the jars of Stock into the refrigerator overnight and skimmed the fat off the next day.

Click here to learn the difference between Stock and Broth.
Basically, Stock is the result of simmering meat, bones, veggies and aromatics in water for hours.
Broth is seasoned stock.

Broth or Stock recipes are easy to find on the internet. I have adapted mine to my taste. I save leftover onions, celery and carrots in bags in the freezer. I even save washed peelings from carrots. I make stock frequently and use it in my everyday cooking. But I mostly make soup.

Chopped Onions, Carrots, Celery and a small amount of Garlic.
Saute in combination of saved Bacon Grease, Olive Oil and Butter until soft and it has a color.
Add Bones. (Ham, Chicken, or Beef)
Add Water.
Add Peppercorns, 1-2 Bay Leaves, and other spices.
Bring to a Boil and simmer for hours on a stovetop. Add more water as the day progresses.
Strain off the solids and discard.
Put Stock BACK into pan and boil down for 10 more minutes, if you feel like it.
Distribute in containers and refrigerate.
I use the twist top ZipLock 2 cup plastic jars.
Label. Don’t forget that.
Skim fat off the next day and then freeze or use.

Bean Soup
Bean Soup on an Iowa Summer Day

I brought a few containers of Ham Broth to Okoboji and made some Bean Soup! It’s a great way to feed a crowd and it tastes so darn good! My recipe is reminiscent of Campbell’s Bean Soup.

Ham, Bean and Potato Soup
Ham, Bean and Potato Soup

1 Diced Onion. I use sweet
4 Diced Carrots. Make them small enough to fit on a spoon.
4 Diced Celery.
1-2 Garlic Cloves
4 Peeled and Diced white potatoes.
Diced Leftover Ham from the Hambone
Bag White Beans
Ham Stock.
I added some Chicken Stock and Water, too.

Soak Dry Beans in Water for several hours. Later…..

Saute Diced Onion, Carrot and Celery for a short while in a large pot. I saute in saved Bacon Grease, Olive Oil and Butter. (about 4 Tablespoons total)
Add drained and now semi-soft White Beans and 2 cups Ham Stock. Simmer until beans start to become softer. Add water as needed.
Add Diced Potatoes and 2 more cups Ham Stock. Simmer a while.
Remove some of the contents and pulse in a blender or food processor. Return to pan.
Add Diced Ham and 2 more cups Ham Stock.
Add spices. I use Pepper, Salt and maybe some season salt.
I don’t add vinegar, but some people like it, so make it available.

Ham Soup
We served this with Cornbread and a Lettuce Salad.

Of course, there was a little extra, so there was leftovers for lunch the next day. Even better!

Yes, Soup is the Perfect Meal to serve Lakeside! In the Summer. In Iowa.