Bean Soup

In my family, when you travel, you get soup.

It would usually be potato soup or bean soup, often accompanied by a sandwich of some sort. We’d be tooling along on our way to Nana and Pap-Pap’s house, knowing a hot pot of soup and some big hugs were waiting for us at the end of our journey.

The tradition continued after I grew up and would travel from South Carolina to Mississippi to visit my parents. We’d call when we were almost there, and Mama would say, “I’ll have the soup ready!” My kids would suddenly perk up after being mostly intolerable for 11 hours. Because soup.


  • 1 bag of dry white beans
  • 1 ham slice or leftover ham bone
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Bacon grease
  • Water

Sautée onions and garlic in butter and a dollop of bacon grease until soft. Add beans and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the meat. Simmer until the beans are soft and soup has thickened.