White Bean Soup With Ham
My wife and I are both nuts for white beans in any form, but I’m especially partial to a light, peppery soup made with them and the flavor of smoked pork. A cut called a smoked pork picnic often goes on sale at the grocery, and when it does, it’s time to make this soup. Especially if it’s cold outside.
- 3-4 lb. smoked pork picnic
- 1 medium onion, cut up
- Stems of one bunch of parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 black peppercorns
- 1/4 tsp. thyme
- 1/4 tsp. marjoram
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 lb. white beans (navy beans), sorted and soaked overnight
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. Tabasco green pepper sauce
- 2 green onions, sliced thin
1. Put all the stock ingredients into a stockpot with about a gallon and a half of water. Bring the pot to a light boil and hold it there for two to three hours, uncovered.
2. When the ham comes easily off the bone, remove the ham and strain the stock. Pick the ham from the bone and reserve.
3. Rinse the stockpot and wipe dry. Add the olive oil and sauté the celery, onion, and garlic until the onions brown slightly. Add the Worcestershire sauce and a little under two quarts of the strained stock. Add the soaked, drained beans, salt, and Tabasco. Simmer, covered, for two hours, until the beans are tender.
4. Strain the soup. Puree the solids in a food processor, then add it back to the broth. Shred as much ham as you’d like in your soup and add it. Adjust seasonings and serve hot. Garnish with green onions.
Reserve the rest of the ham and stock (you can reduce the stock to make it easier to store) for other purposes (jambalaya or pasta dishes, for example).