It’s a rare day in the winter when I don’t have a pot of homemade soup in the fridge. I can whip up a satisfying meal or a hearty snack on a moments notice and I don’t know anybody who would turn down a steaming bowl of soup when they stop by to visit. White bean and ham is a family favorite and is a stick to the ribs soup that doesn’t need much more than a salad and a slice of good bread to make it a meal. I usually use a ham bone to make the stock but didn’t have one on hand so used ham hocks instead. They give the soup a rich, smokey taste but don’t add a lot of meat to the soup. Either one works well.
White Bean and Ham Soup
- 1 pound of white beans – either Great Northern or canellini
- 8 cups water
- 3 or 4 ham hocks
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 3/4 teaspoon thyme
- Dash of hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper
Soak the white beans in cold water for several hours or overnight. Drain.
Put the ham hocks in a large pot and cover with 8 to 10 cups of water. Bring to a simmer and cook until hocks are starting to fall apart. This usually takes several hours. I added a handful of celery tops and the bay leaves to the stock as it simmered. Remove the hocks from the stock when they are done and let them cool. Remove meat from the bones and set aside. Strain the stock to remove celery and any meat bits left in the pot. I chill the stock at this point so I can skim off the fat from the ham hocks.
Saute the carrots, celery and onions in 1/4 cup olive oil in a large pot until they are soft. Add stock, beans and thyme and simmer until beans are soft, usually about 2 hours. Season with salt and pepper and add vinegar and fresh parsley. I like to mash some of the cooked beans to thicken the soup a bit.
I’m sending this soup recipe to Michael at Designs by Gollum for this week’s celebration of Foodie Friday. I hope you will stop by to say hello and check out all the wonderful entries.