White Bean and Ham Soup
We’ve had some wonderfully cold, rainy, winter storms here lately in Northern California. This soup is the perfect hardy accompaniment to a cold winter day. Note, this soup is the kind that is much better the next day, as the flavors from the beans, ham, and vegetables have had time to blend.
- 1 lb of white beans - Cannellini or Great Northern - about 2 1/2 cups
- 2 quarts of water
- 2-3 lbs of ham hocks or shanks
- 2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence, or Italian seasoning
- 1 cup of diced onions (about 1 small onion)
- 1 cup chopped celery (about 2-3 ribs)
- 2/3 cup chopped carrots (about 1 medium carrot)
- 2-3 cloves garlic, diced
- Tabasco sauce
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh parsley
1 Fill a pot large enough to hold the beans with water and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, add the beans and soak the beans for about 2 hours. Drain the water.
2 Meanwhile, put the ham hocks or shanks in a large pot and cover with 2 quarts of water. Add the herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning. Bring to a simmer and simmer for about an hour. Add the chopped vegetables and beans. Cook for another hour, until the vegetables are soft and the ham meat easily pulls away from the bone. Pull the meat off the bone and discard the bones.
3 Add several drops of Tabasco to taste. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a pinch of chopped fresh parsley.