It's winter and although it's been a very odd and pleasantly warmer winter here in Indiana I still enjoy my hot soups and stews. I'll admit, I've been a bit homesick on this long vacation and one of my favorite smells is my mother's Fifteen Bean Soup and Cornbread. I always joke that I don't like it, but I actually love it. It's comforting, it's homemade, and above all it's delicious! I of course didn't have fifteen different kinds of beans on hand, but I did have some great northern beans and a little bit of navy beans leftover from another meal. Use whatever white bean you'd like, it'll turn out delicious!
This is a nice thick soup that sticks to the ribs and warms the heart. It has great flavors and my house smelled incredible while it was slow cooking on the stove. I am guilty of walking outside just to walk back in and smell the soup!
Smokey White Bean Soup
adapted from whatwereeating.com
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 sprig rosemary
1/4 cup parsley, dried or fresh
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1lb. dried small white beans, rinsed and picked through
1 smoked ham hock
8 cups of water, plus extra if needed
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
In a large pot heat oil over medium heat. Add diced onions and carrots to pot. Stir. Saute over medium heat 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and the carrots are tender.
Add dried white beans, garlic, bay leaf, dried oregano and basil. Stir and cook an additional 3-4 minutes.
Add the ham hock, parsley and rosemary. Cover with 7 cups of water and 1 cup of chicken broth. Add salt and pepper. Stir.
Raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Once you reach a boil reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for 2 1/2 hours or until the beans are tender. If soup gets too thick add additional water.
Once beans are soft remove the ham hock and rosemary sprig. Taste soup and season with additional salt and pepper if desired.
Remove ham hock's skin and bone. Chop up ham hock meat and add to the soup, if desired. Smokey deliciousness!