After the holidays you can always find a ham bone or two in my freezer. Nothing warms you up like a good soup or stew in the winter time, and this soup is especially welcome as I make it only once per year. If I have a second ham bone on hand, I make Aunt Rose's Pot Pie.
Making the soup: If you refrigerated the broth overnight, skim away the fat that has solidified on the top of the soup. Then bring the broth to a boil and add the soaked beans. These need to cook over a medium-high heat uncovered for two or so hours, until nearly tender. Stir occasionally to ensure they do not stick. Then add any additional ham, carrots, celery or other items you prefer and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 30-45 minutes. You can also add a peeled tomato or two (or canned stewed or diced) to the soup at this stage if you prefer, although I rarely do. Serve with a light side salad )spinach with pears shown here) and corn bread, which you can make while the soup is cooking, as it goes well with the dish.