HAM HOCK AND WHITE BEAN SOUP

"HATES CALIFORNIA, IT'S COLD AND IT'S DAMP..." WHEN IT DOES GET COLD HERE OR ANYWHERE, NOTHING SATISFIES LIKE SOUP. THE FLAVOR IN THIS WHITE BEAN SOUP COMES FROM THE SMOKED HAM HOCK AND THE PARMESAN RINDS, WHICH I HORDE FOR JUST THESE OCCASIONS. YOU CAN SIMMER THE SOUP ON A LOW FLAME, BUT SIMMERING IT IN THE OVEN IS EASIER SINCE YOU DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT BURNING ON THE BOTTOM AND ONLY HAVE TO STIR OCCASIONALL

I PREFER TO COOK THE VEGETABLES SEPARATELY SO THE FLAVOR AND CRUNCH IS NOT BOILED OUT OF THEM BY THE TIME YOU LADEL THEM INTO THE BOWLS. IN ADDITION TO CARROTS AND ONIONS, YOU CAN ADD STRING BEANS OR SPINACH OR CHARD; POTATOES, TURNIPS, OR PARSNIPS. THIS IS A FLEXIBLE SOUP. BUT THE REAL TREAT ARE THOSE PARMESAN RINDS WHICH MELT TO A SPONGY SOFTNESS. TAKE A SPOONFUL OF SOUP, A PIECE OF SMOKED PORK AND MORSEL OF RIND AND PUT IT IN YOUR MOUTH. THE WEATHER OUTSIDE IS FRIGHTFUL, BUT HERE IT'S SO DELIGHTFUL.

AuthorChef JohnCategory

 1 SMOKED HAM HOCK CUT INTO 4 PIECES
 1 cup DRIED CANNELLINI BEANS
 1 RIND FROM A WEDGE OF PARMESAN CHEESE
 1 BOUQUET GARNIE
 3 MEDIUM CARROTS
 1 LARGE BROWN ONION
 4 CLOVES OF GARLIC
 1 LARGE LEEK
 FRESH CHIVES

1

PRE-HEAT OVEN TO 300o
PUT THE BEANS AND THE HAM HOCK IN A LARGE DUTCH OVEN. COVER WITH COLD WATER BY 2 INCHES. BRING TO A BOIL. TURN OFF THE HEAT, COVER AND LET IT SIT FOR AT LEAST AN HOUR.
DRAIN THE BEANS AND THE HAM HOCK IN A COLANDER SET OVER A BOWL TO CATCH THE LIQUID. RINSE BEANS AND HAM HOCK UNDER COLD RUNNING WATER. DISCARD ANY DISCOLORED OR MISHAPEN BEANS.
RETURN BEANS AND HAM HOCK TO THE POT. ADD THE PARMESAN RINDS. POUR THE BEAN WATER BACK IN AND ENOUGH WATER TO COME AN INCH OR TWO FROM THE TOP.
BRING TO A BOIL, REDUCE TO A SIMMER. ADD THE BOUQUET GARNIE AND THE 4 CLOVES OF PEELED GARLIC. PLACE IN THE OVEN, PARTIALLY COVERED.
COOK FOR ABOUT 1 1⁄2 HOURS OR UNTIL THE BEANS ARE TENDER AND THE MEAT IS FALLING OFF THE BONES. (COOKING TIME WILL VARY DEPENDING ON THE CONDITION OF THE BEANS.) IF THE BEANS ARE COOKED BEFORE THE HAM HOCK, SCOOP THEM OUT WITH A SLOTTED SPOON AND SET ASIDE.
REMOVE THE HAM HOCK WHEN IT’S DONE. ALLOW TO COOL, THEN TAKE THE MEAT OFF THE BONES.
MEANWHILE, PEEL AND DICE THE CARROTS AND THE ONION. TRIM THE LEEK, LEAVING ONLY THE WHITE PART, SLICE LENGTHWISE, RINSE UNDER RUNNING WATER AND DICE.
MELT 1 TBSP OF BUTTER IN 1 TBSP OF OLIVE OIL IN A SAUCEPAN. ADD THE CARROTS AND THE ONIONS. COVER AND SWEAT ON A LOW FLAME. WHEN THE ONIONS ARE TRANSLUCENT, ADD THE DICED LEEKS AND COOK A MINUTE MORE, STIRRING TO KEEP THEM FROM BROWNING.
PUT THE DUTCH OVEN ON THE STOVE OVER A LOW FLAME. STIR IN THE VEGETABLES AND THE PIECES OF HAM HOCK. GARNISH WITH CHOPPED CHIVES OR YOUR HERBS OF CHOICE.
SERVES 8

Ingredients

 1 SMOKED HAM HOCK CUT INTO 4 PIECES
 1 cup DRIED CANNELLINI BEANS
 1 RIND FROM A WEDGE OF PARMESAN CHEESE
 1 BOUQUET GARNIE
 3 MEDIUM CARROTS
 1 LARGE BROWN ONION
 4 CLOVES OF GARLIC
 1 LARGE LEEK
 FRESH CHIVES

Directions

1

PRE-HEAT OVEN TO 300o
PUT THE BEANS AND THE HAM HOCK IN A LARGE DUTCH OVEN. COVER WITH COLD WATER BY 2 INCHES. BRING TO A BOIL. TURN OFF THE HEAT, COVER AND LET IT SIT FOR AT LEAST AN HOUR.
DRAIN THE BEANS AND THE HAM HOCK IN A COLANDER SET OVER A BOWL TO CATCH THE LIQUID. RINSE BEANS AND HAM HOCK UNDER COLD RUNNING WATER. DISCARD ANY DISCOLORED OR MISHAPEN BEANS.
RETURN BEANS AND HAM HOCK TO THE POT. ADD THE PARMESAN RINDS. POUR THE BEAN WATER BACK IN AND ENOUGH WATER TO COME AN INCH OR TWO FROM THE TOP.
BRING TO A BOIL, REDUCE TO A SIMMER. ADD THE BOUQUET GARNIE AND THE 4 CLOVES OF PEELED GARLIC. PLACE IN THE OVEN, PARTIALLY COVERED.
COOK FOR ABOUT 1 1⁄2 HOURS OR UNTIL THE BEANS ARE TENDER AND THE MEAT IS FALLING OFF THE BONES. (COOKING TIME WILL VARY DEPENDING ON THE CONDITION OF THE BEANS.) IF THE BEANS ARE COOKED BEFORE THE HAM HOCK, SCOOP THEM OUT WITH A SLOTTED SPOON AND SET ASIDE.
REMOVE THE HAM HOCK WHEN IT’S DONE. ALLOW TO COOL, THEN TAKE THE MEAT OFF THE BONES.
MEANWHILE, PEEL AND DICE THE CARROTS AND THE ONION. TRIM THE LEEK, LEAVING ONLY THE WHITE PART, SLICE LENGTHWISE, RINSE UNDER RUNNING WATER AND DICE.
MELT 1 TBSP OF BUTTER IN 1 TBSP OF OLIVE OIL IN A SAUCEPAN. ADD THE CARROTS AND THE ONIONS. COVER AND SWEAT ON A LOW FLAME. WHEN THE ONIONS ARE TRANSLUCENT, ADD THE DICED LEEKS AND COOK A MINUTE MORE, STIRRING TO KEEP THEM FROM BROWNING.
PUT THE DUTCH OVEN ON THE STOVE OVER A LOW FLAME. STIR IN THE VEGETABLES AND THE PIECES OF HAM HOCK. GARNISH WITH CHOPPED CHIVES OR YOUR HERBS OF CHOICE.
SERVES 8

HAM HOCK AND WHITE BEAN SOUP
Share
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *